Howlin shocks Malone

COLAISTE Ris guidance counsellor Gerry Malone has said that he is “shocked” by the reponse he received from Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin.

COLAISTE Ris guidance counsellor Gerry Malone has said that he is “shocked” by the reponse he received from Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin.

Mr Malone contacted Minister Howlin to express his concerns over proposals which could lead to a reduction in the numbers of guidance counsellors in secondary schools.

The Minister wrote to Mr Malone on Tuesday, December 6 and told him that understands that the new arrangements for the provision for guidance counsellors will be difficult for those who have worked in that area for many years.

“There is no doubt that the service that was provided was more than career guidance but dealt with many difficult subjects. I am sure that with a willingness to work with the School Management, an excellent service can still be provided,” said Minister Howlin.

“As part of the Budget decisions announced this week, guidance provision in second level schools will be managed by schools from within their standard teacher allocation...

“The change we have announced gives schools greater autonomy in how they allocate staff resources to best meet the needs of their students.”

In response Mr Malone said: “Schools will find it increasingly difficult to maintain a guidance service if they are over quota... I fear that with the service diminished the rate of suicide could increase and that frightens me.”