Guidance counsellors

 

Guidance counsellors have been a part of secondary education in New Zealand since the late 1960s.   Their clients are students, staff and families/whanau in the school community.   Their role includes:

  • Helping clients to explore their difficulties and concerns, and to develop their capabilities and resilience
  • Fostering conditions in which a client can grow and develop as a person
  • Offering leadership and sharing expertise in promoting positive relationships
  • Promoting awareness of and respect for difference
  • Advocating for those who are disempowered.

All schools/kura need the skills of professionally trained guidance counsellors to fulfill their obligations to their students.   Guidance counsellors assist schools/kura to meet Section 77 of the Education Act, which requires that "the principal of a State school shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that … students get good guidance and counselling"; Read more

The school guidance counsellor: guidelines

Guidelines for principals, boards of  trustees, teachers and guidance counsellors

This kit is an updated version of the School Guidance Counsellor Appointment Kit previously published by NZAC.   It was developed by representatives of PPTA and the NZ Association of Counsellors, including school guidance counsellors Jonathan Loan (2007-08 school counsellor rep on NZAC), and Helen Bowbyes (Wellington Girls College), Paul Cutler (St Bernard's College), Sarah Maindonald (Hillmorton High), and Sandra Tyree  (James Hargest College).

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The kit has been in circulation as a draft for consultation for over a year, and is now being issued as a final resource. It is available on both the NZAC and PPTA websites, and any updates will be published online.

 

pdf iconDownload The school guidance counsellor (34 p., 258.35 KB)

 

Guidance counsellors and supervision

National survey of school guidance counsellors and their professional supervision

Wendy M. Payne & Steve K.W. Lang

The latest New Zealand Journal of Counselling, Volume 29, No.2, 2009 includes a useful and interesting report, providing something of an update of PPTA's study in 2004, which is cited frequently.

The emphasis here is on professional supervision of counsellors, this is a requirement for membership of the  New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) and is essential to the safe practice of all counsellors.   The report discusses why supervision is important, and what the most common kinds are.

Read more...

About guidance counsellors

A brief introduction to the role of guidance counsellors in secondary schools

Guidance counsellors have been a part of secondary education in New Zealand since the late 1960s.   Their clients are students, staff and families/whanau in the school community.   Their role includes:

  • Helping clients to explore their difficulties and concerns, and to develop their capabilities and resilience
  • Fostering conditions in which a client can grow and develop as a person
  • Offering leadership and sharing expertise in promoting positive relationships
  • Promoting awareness of and respect for difference
  • Advocating for those who are disempowered.

Read more...

School counsellors' contribution to the key competencies

School counsellors' contribution to the key competencies of the New Zealand school curriculum

By Colin Hughes, HOD Guidance, Trident High School 

pdf icon Download paper School counsellors' contribution to the key competencies

 

This paper summarises the main contribution School Counsellors make in developing the five key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum in the students they counsel. The material presented arose from a workshop led by Colin Hughes with a group of school counsellors from the Eastern Bay of Plenty. It was then organised and summarised by Colin Hughes and Tracey Hennessy, both counsellors at Trident High School in Whakatane.

The key competencies:

  • Managing self,
  • Participating and contributing,
  • Using language, symbols and texts,
  • Thinking,
  • Relating to others -

have always been an integral part of the school counsellor's work, but have not always been expressed and recognised as such by schools and educational authorities. In large part this has been because different academic histories, theories, practices and language between the two professions, teaching and counselling, have often masked those things that are similar.

However with the rise of pupil centred pedagogies, and the attention given to relationship formation as a key determinant of learning success, the language used by educationalists to describe the teaching process and some of its methods has moved closer to that used by counsellors. For example to describe, as the new curriculum does, "teaching as inquiry" [1] is not too far from the stance of "˜respectful curiosity' something many counsellors would own as a central element in the counselling process.

 

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A political slant on our industrial problem

What's in a name?

 

What are schools mostly about? Student achievement within a context of health and safety to the students.

 

What causes Principals the most anxiety? Anything that detracts from the school's image in the community. Failure to deliver student success: truants, disruptive students, barriers to learning.

 

What does the Minister most want? Getting the National Standards as set out by the Government in place in primary schools.

 

Guidance Counsellors are essential to meet / address these issues.

Guidance Counsellors are a vital part of a school system that is ultimately evaluated by ERO (Education Review Office).   The most severe penalty for failure is to have the school Board of Trustees dismissed.

 

As either the head or leader of the pastoral team, the school Guidance Counsellor(s) play a crucial role in carrying out the legal responsibilities to prevent this.

 

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and in education the weak link is the support services to adolescents as they transition the passage into adulthood. The quality, depth, and spread of health, social, and educational service is fragile. In many situations the school Guidance Counsellor is becoming the significant default service.

 

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The spectre of bulk funding

Critics raise spectre of bulk funding

John Hartevelt, The Press
Last updated 05:00 20/10/2009

Bulk funding of schools could be part of the Government's education budget cuts, critics fear.
The Government is trying to find a way to meet the $50 million annual cuts to staffing costs it announced in the May Budget.
The Press understands there are plans to remove funding for school counsellors from the staffing budget.

Read Press article in full

Cuts to guidance counsellors or careers advisors?

Considerable confusion?

There seems to be considerable confusion in government ranks about exactly what Anne Tolley was saying in Christchurch.

Despite the fact that her own replies to guidance counsellors clearly acknowledge that she was questioning the matter of funding counsellors out of entitlement staffing, one of her colleagues, Allan Peachey, who chairs the Education and Science Select Committee, claims to have spoken with her and been told that she was not talking about guidance counsellors at all, but about careers advisors!

The plot thickens…

 

 

Tolley unaware of the value of guidance counsellors

Tolley unaware of the value of guidance counsellors

PPTA News October 2009, p. 4

 

At a time of unprecedented levels of violence in schools, when New Zealand holds the record for teen suicide, the axe is hovering over our best form of frontline support "“ school guidance counsellors.

Informal discussions between education minister Anne Tolley and various sector stakeholders have flagged counsellors as part of the $50 million staffing cuts announced in this year's budget.

At present school guidance counsellors are employed as teachers and have to be trained and qualifi ed as such, if they are to be employed permanently. They are covered by the secondary teachers collective agreement (STCA) and are paid through schools' staffing entitlement.

In response to a letter written by a concerned guidance counsellor, Tolley has said that providing for school counsellors through staffing entitlements can "reduce schools' flexibility to employ the most appropriate staff, be they registered teachers or qualified counsellors."

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