Calls To Reverse Guidance Counselling Cuts

The main Opposition parties have joined in condemnation of the Government over their imposition of cuts to guidance counselling on Wednesday morning.

Both Sin Fein and Fianna Fail voiced their objection as schools fear the proposed cuts to their career guidance and counselling, which may be forced on them by Budget 2012.

Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson Seán Crowe urged the government to reverse the cuts to career guidance counselling posts, saying the government was targetting the most vulnerable young people in our school system.

"The possible loss of hundreds of school guidance counsellors will have serious and far reaching implications for children because of the essential role they play in supporting young people’s educational, emotional and mental well-being.

“This will cause significant damage to our education system that is already reeling from cuts to DEIS Schools, the reduction in capitation grants, the suspension of summer work’s schemes, increases to the pupil/teacher ratios, hikes in the contribution fees for students, cuts to CE schemes, as well as increases in the cost of school transport and the reduction in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance."

Meanwhile, leader of Fianna Fail, Michael Martin, has issued a full statement on the issue saying the teachers who deliver guidance and counselling in our schools carry a heavy workload and perform a vital role for our society.

"The Minister and Government took a decision to single them out guidance in the budget [sic]. A service built up over 40 years has been dismissed as a mere optional extra. It has been adopted without even basic steps being taken to examine its impact on schools and pupils. Not one single piece of advice is available to schools about what they should do now. The cold, hard message of the government has been to say to schools “it’s not up to us, you handle it”.

Last week, children's charity Barnardos also issued a statement saying it believed the measure to incorporate Guidance Counsellors within schools’ staffing quota will severely affect on children and young people.

"Guidance Counsellors can play a significant role in supporting young people’s educational, emotional and mental well-being," they said.


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