How can students make an appointment with the Guidance Counsellor?
Students may avail of the counselling service through self-referral or may be referred by the Principal/ class teacher/parent/ other student etc. The GC operates an “open door” policy. Students are free to call in to the guidance room /office and if the guidance counsellor cannot meet with them immediately, then they will get an appointment slip. One to one meetings with sixth years begin about the second week in September and the guidance counsellor puts up the schedule for staff in the staff room and posts the list on the guidance noticeboard for students to consult and /or gives it to year head to call out at morning assembly.
- To ensure an effective delivery of a guidance programme an appointments system for personal counselling/careers guidance interviews operates.
- Students must get appointment slip which they must show their class teacher before asking to leave class.
- Subject teachers have the right to refuse a student to attend the guidance counsellor if it interferes with their teaching. If a teacher refuses, the appointment is then rescheduled
- Students are reminded to come from class promptly. It is their responsibility to make sure they catch up on what they missed and take down homework.
- If the guidance counsellor is called away during the meeting, the student is given the next available appointment.
If any student is in immediate distress and needs to meet with guidance counsellor or chaplain in the school, then they can go to either office and assistance will be given.
A conflict of interest may arise between the need to respect the student’s trust by maintaining confidentiality, and the need to safeguard the student and others who may be placed in jeopardy by the student, as well as school management, child protection issues and parents’ right to information about the student.
- At the beginning of the first counselling session with a student, the guidance counsellor will explain, in a sensitive manner, the limits of confidentiality. The guidance counsellor will also inform the student if she needs to breach confidentiality, to consult with another, or refer the student on.
- Confidentiality will be breached, and the student will be so informed, if the GC considers that the student poses an immediate risk either to herself or others or if there is a child protection or other legal restraint.
- If the guidance counsellor is to inform the DLP/Parent/Guardian of a particular difficulty, this is only done with the knowledge and hopefully the agreement of the student.
- If a report has to be made to the HSE via the DLP under child protection procedures, we adhere to the guidelines agreed to and set out in the school’s Student Protection Policy.
- Students may need to be referred to outside agencies e.g. Psychologist, gardai, public health professional, social worker etc.