Vulnerable Students Let Down By Axing Of School Guidance, Says ASTI President

The curtailment of guidance provision in second level schools will lead to an increase in early school dropout, ASTI President Brendan Broderick said.

Addressing the ASTI annual conference in Cork, Mr Broderick said a survey carried out by Millward Brown Lansdowne shows that seven out of 10 second-level schools are considering cutting back on guidance counselling by an average of almost eight hours a result of the Government decision to abolish the ex-quota guidance provision for second-level schools from September.

"This cut is specifically directed at adolescent, teenage students, at a time in their lives when they are most vulnerable," said Mr Broderick. "As well as giving professional guidance on career and subject choice, the guidance counsellor is often the only access a young person has to a support and referral service for problems ranging from mental health issues, to sexual health problems, to learning difficulties, peer pressure, alcohol and substance abuse, bullying, issues arising from their home environment."

The Millward Brown Lansdowne survey showed that second-level schools are also considering increasing class sizes in core subjects and dropping subjects from the curriculum in order to cope with education cuts.


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