Guidance and Counselling at St Brendan’s Community School


Definition of Guidance

Guidance refers to a wide rage of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence that assist students to develop self-management skills which will lead them to make effective and informed choices about their lives and in making transitions to these choices.

These learning experiences may be broken down into three very distinct but interrelated areas:

  • Personal and social development
  • Educational guidance
  • Vocational guidance


Guidance activities that assist students in the decision making process include:

  • Course and career information
  • Guidance classes
  • Vocational Guidance interviews
  • Information Technology – computer aided guidance
  • Visiting Speakers
  • Open Day and Career event information
  • Specific small group guidance seminars
  • Personal and Social development programmes


Definition of Counselling

Counselling is a key part of the school guidance programme, offered on an individual and group basis as part of a developmental learning process and in moments of personal crisis.


Aims of the Guidance and Counselling Service


  • To meet the personal, educational, and vocational needs of the student.
  • To provide an effective and accessible service to the students
  • To assist the student in realising his/her full potential by developing his/her own unique talents, aptitudes, abilities and skills.
  • To assist each student in making informed college and career choices.
  • To provide an integrative model of counselling based on sound theoretical theory to students who seek to avail of the service
  • To provide referral for students whose need extends beyond the brief of the guidance service.

Confidentiality Policy

The Guidance and Counselling Service abides by a strict code of ethics and confidentiality policy as outlined by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.

Confidentiality is central and integral part of the counselling process and is assured to each student who avails of the counselling service.  It offers safety and privacy to those who choose to discuss personal concerns.

Confidentiality is explained to the student at the outset and the arrangements for counselling sessions outlined.

Limits to Confidentiality

There may be occasions where the Guidance Counsellor may need to break confidentiality if they believe there is a risk of harm or danger to the student or to another individual.  The Guidance Counsellor will endeavour in as far as possible to explain in full to the student, the necessary procedures that have to be followed.


System of Referral to the Guidance Service

  • Students can make appointments at anytime at the Guidance Office.
  • Class Teacher, Tutor, Year Head, Management can refer or recommend student to the Guidance Counsellor.
  • Parental request to meet student.


Guidance Appointments

The Guidance Counsellor will issue an appointment slip to a student in advance of the meeting. In such cases the student will go to the class teacher and explain absence from class by presenting the appointment slip.  The Guidance Counsellor will write return time on the appointment slip.  Where a student presents with an urgent issue the guidance counsellor will issue an appointment slip recording the time of the meeting, to be presented to the teacher at the next class.

During vocational guidance interviews, notes are kept by the Guidance Counsellor using the relevant VGI Template.  Notes on counselling sessions are written up and kept in confidential files.

Guidance Personnel

  • Two whole time Guidance Counsellors,  Ms Cusack and Ms White
  • An accredited psychotherapist works in the school one day per week and referrals are made thorough the Guidance Counsellors/School Chaplain.
  • School Chaplain


Guidance Team Meeting

A weekly meeting for discussion of issues relating to guidance will take place, to be attended by, Principal, Deputy Principal, Guidance Counsellors, School Chaplain, Home-school Liaison, Learning Support Co-ordinator.

Personnel involved in Guidance

Guidance is a whole school approach and all members of the school community are invited to become involved in the guidance programme.

Those with particular role to play in the implementation, review and evaluation of the Guidance Plan are as follows:

  • Principal/ Deputy Principal
  • School Chaplain
  • Year Head
  • Class Tutors
  • SPHE/RSE Teachers
  • Subject Teachers
  • RE Team
  • Student Council
  • Parents Association

Board of Management                                                          Feb201