Guidance Counsellors from around the country will be meeting in Dublin this afternoon to discuss the Budget cuts and to organise a campaign of protest.
As of next year, schools will lose the separate allocation they have for guidance and counselling and guidance provisions will therefore have to be managed by schools from within their standard teacher allocations. Counsellors who are currently available full-time to second-level pupils will have to fit counselling duties in between teaching classes.
Prior to these proposed changes, each school got one or more counsellors based on numbers. Guidance Counsellors are concerned that the loss of a separate allocation for guidance and counselling will mean that schools will be under strong pressure to favour subject teaching over counselling and that vulnerable students who need support will suffer most.
There are currently around 800 guidance counsellors working in second-level schools.