Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 01/02/2013. Tags: Education And Politics
The government made a serious error in reducing the allocation of school guidance counsellors in its budget last year.
That is the opinion of Charlie McConalogue, education spokesman for Fianna Fail, who has criticised the administration's decision to effectively cut around €35 million from this crucial service, the Irish Times reports.
During a speech in parliament, Mr McConalogue indicated that if the government is fully committed to combating the growing problem of bullying
and mental health issues in the education system, it should consider reinstating guidance counsellors in second-level schools.
The official went on to say that the spending reduction "totally undermines" any genuine effort to "tackle bullying in our schools" and proves that the government's recent anti-bullying proposals are merely "rhetoric".
Meanwhile, education minister Ruairi Quinn has defended his assertion that troubled children should speak to anyone at their school they feel comfortable around, such as PE teachers
or the caretaker.
This idea was slammed by guidance counsellors, but Mr Quinn has responded by saying these professionals "might not necessarily be the first person in the school community to notice a change in the behaviour of a pupil that would warrant further scrutiny".
Written by Donal Walsh