Fury over proposals

THE Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) North East branch has said it is “disgusted” by the proposed changes to the allocation of Guidance quotas in secondary schools.

THE Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) North East branch has said it is “disgusted” by the proposed changes to the allocation of Guidance quotas in secondary schools.

Following a meeting of Dundalk and North East based guidance counsellors, the branch expressed its “very deep concern” in regard to the measures which could lead to a reduction in the number of guidance counsellors.

“We believe this will have a devastating impact on the lives of our students removing what has been an integral part of the education system for the past 50 years,” the IGC NE branch stated.

“As guidance counsellors we are working at the coalface of education dealing with some very difficult and challenging social, personal and educational issues on a daily basis.

“Some of the issues that we have dealt with and continue to deal with are, family breakup, suicide, child neglect/ abuse, teenage rape, eating disorders, bereavement, financial issues impacting their education, poor self-esteem, lack of attendance at school, relationship with peers, bullying both cyber and traditional, mental health, teenage pregnancy as well as other issues that may cross our door.”

The IGC NE added: “A lot of these issues have greatly increased in the current economic climate... This will now come to an end and the door will be closed on students who need our help, guidance and support.

“The Taoiseach tells us we must protect the young people and the most vulnerable in our society, we will no longer be able to protect or guide them....We believe that this backward step will do untold damage to the welfare of our young people....”

The statement was signed by guidance counsellors Jonathan Graham, Cora Rice, Lorraine Moran, Sandra Woods, Karen Wiseman

Ciara O’Meara, Dara Mee, Gerry Malone, Simon Conroy, Aiden Matthews, Bronagh Meehan, Anita Morgan, Catherine Gannon and Ann Wickham.