Guidance Counsellor’s Department Plan
Brian Comerford
Guidance Counsellor

Mission Statement
The Mission Statement of Colaiste Dhulaigh Post Primary
“To deliver an excellent education that is relevant to the needs of our students.”
The Guidance plan reflects this respect for the individual in its student centred holistic
approach. The enhancement of self-esteem and life skills and the development of potential
– academic, personal and emotional – leading to greater personal autonomy for all students
are its central goals.
This plan is not rigid template and reflects the uniqueness of Colaiste Dhulaigh Post
Primary in its own particular context and circumstances. This Guidance plan refers to the
‘subject’ guidance as it is delivered to Colaiste Dhulaigh Post Primary students cognisant
of their needs and mindful of the available resources.
The school guidance plan is a structured document that describes the school guidance
programme and specifies how the guidance needs of students are to be addressed. It
includes reference to personal counselling, an integral component of the work of the
Guidance Counsellor.
Section 9(c) of the Education Act (1998) requires schools to “Ensure that students have
access to appropriate guidance to assist them in their career choices”
The provision of guidance is a statutory requirement for schools under this Act.
The Act refers to access (to school resources, physical and personnel…) and appropriate
guidance (ie. whole school response to meeting the guidance needs of all its students).
Guidance is a core requirement of the school’s overall programme: this requires that it is an
integral part of the school plan. The mission statement and the school ethos are reflected in
the guidance plan.
What is guidance in schools?
Guidance counselling and Guidance and counselling refers to a range of learning
experiences provided in a developmental sequence, designed to assist students to make
choices about their lives and to make transitions to these choices. These choices may be
categorised into three distinct but interlinked areas:
Personal and social
Guidance activities that assist students make informed choices include:
• Personal counselling
• Assessment using psychometric instruments and inventories
• Career information (classroom, personal vocational guidance interviews, attendance
at career events…)
• Use of information technology e.g.,, You, Careers
• Personal and social developmental programmes Such as DCU Access Programmes.

Counselling is offered on an individual or group basis as part of a developmental learning
process and at moments of personal crisis. Counselling may include personal counselling,
educational counselling career counselling or combinations of these.
• Provide a framework for the delivery of the school’s guidance programme
• Ensures a structured response to student’s personal, social, educational and career
guidance needs
• The plan needs to inclusive provide for the junior, senior, minority, special
education needs etc., of all students.
• The plan will include all guidance activities: classroom sessions, Vocational
Guidance Interviews, attendance at career exhibitions, open days etc., meeting with
management, care team meetings, support agencies etc., personal counselling etc.
• Develop awareness and acceptance of their talents and abilities
• Identify and explore opportunities
• Grow in independence and take responsibility for themselves
• Make informed choices about their lives and follow through on these
Guidance Counsellor
Brian Comerford
Subject Coordinators
Brian Comerford
Role of Subject Coordinator
The delivery of a comprehensive Guidance Programme is the responsibility of the
Guidance Counsellor but a whole school approach is essential to realise this objective. A
holistic approach to Guidance provision is essential to ensure all students have “access to
appropriate Guidance” (9 (C) Education Act.1998). Guidance planning is to be considered
a process, to evolve over time, reflecting the needs of all students, available resources and
contextual factors.
Time Allocation, option Structures and Timetabling
The Department of Education and Science (DES) has allocated…….

2 Guidance Curriculum
The Guidance curriculum may be divided into two components:
• Formal
• Informal.
Formal Guidance
The Formal Guidance curriculum is delivered using two forms of intervention employing a
number of methodologies:
1. Individual contact of a personal counselling nature and careers/vocational guidance.
2. Classroom guidance delivered in regular weekly classes/team teaching/class group
or year group intervention as required.
Informal Guidance
The Informal Guidance programme consists of liaising with other Teaching
Staff/Management to promote cross curricular links and to enhance the development of a
whole school policy in relation to the delivery of The Guidance Plan.
Grouping of Students
Students participate in the Guidance programme in their year groups.
Class Organisation/ Effective Teaching Methodologies
Year Group Teaching Methodology
1 Class group/ 1 hour per week “Wellbeing”
2 No formal classroom/year group contact.
3 Year group intervention 2 times/year
4 Class group/ 1 hour per week
5 Class group/ 1 hour per week
6 Class group/ 1 hour per week
Guidance Counsellors, Management, BOM, Year Heads, Teachers and Class Teachers
Prospectus and careers information leaflets are available from the careers office. All
information is on-line and is usually accessed from there.
Essential Guidance by Brian Comerford & Fred Tuite, published by Classroom
Guidance Ltd
Anti-Bullying Programme by Brian Comerford published by Classroom Guidance Ltd
Use of internet…Qualifax
Career Portal
Classroom Guidance

Guidance Office, Computer Room, Notice boards, Personal Lap top
Open days, career exhibitions, Career information sessions
Guest speakers.
3 Provision for Health and Safety Requirements
This section of the plan may be subdivided
• Administration
• Policies
To ensure the safe and effective delivery of a guidance programme appointments may be
made as required. Appointments are made in consultation with the student to reduce
disruption. The class teacher has the right to refuse a student to leave for an appointment as
they are required to “sign out” a student to attend the Guidance Counsellor. If a teacher
refuses, the appointment is then rescheduled.
Attendance sheets for Career Talks/Presentations (Appendix II). Students sign up for talks
etc on the attendance sheet on the career notice board. This sheet is then photocopied and
posted on the Staff Room Notice Board. The original copy is used for to take a roll-call at
the beginning of the presentation by the Guidance Counsellor. All careers notices,
appointments cards etc are produced in the same colour, yellow.
Code of Behaviour and discipline
Attendance at Open Days/Careen Events

Programmes and Levels
Curriculum Content/Guidance Syllabus 1st – 6th year
Year 1 Organisation
1 class per week, covering,
• Transfer from Primary to Secondary
• Study Skills
• Anti-Bullying
• Self-Concept
• Examination Technique
Year 2 Organisation
• No formal class contact

• Individual sessions by appointment
Year 3 Organisation
• No formal class contact
• Individual sessions by appointment
• Study skills seminar – exam focus/revision planning/time management
Year 4 Organisation (When TY is running)
• Formal class contact –1 hour class for each TY group
• Individual sessions by appointment
• Career Awareness
• Dreams and Ambitions
• Career Investigation
• Personal Values and Career Values
• Career Interests
• Preparation for Work Experience
• Review of Work Experience
• Subject choice for senior cycle
• Self-Concept
• Students are encouraged to attend career talks / presentations / seminars / open
• North side partnership Apprenticeship Expo
• Higher Options in RDS
Year 5 Organisation
• Formal class contact – Formal class contact –1 hour class weekly.
• Individual sessions by appointment using VGI form
• Career options
• Research skills…Use of internet
• Career planning/career investigation…..
• CAO –
• UCAS –
• C.V. preparation
• Interview skills
• Study skills seminar
• Students are encouraged to attend career talks / presentations / seminars / open
• Careers Options Convention. (Appendix VI)

Year 5 LCA Organisation
• Formal class contact – one class period /week
• Mandatory Individual sessions by appointment
Leaving Cert Applied “Guidnace Module” Unit 1 and 2
Session 1
Your Aims
Career Category Checklist
Different Ways Of Working
Local Jobs
Jobs Elsewhere
Volunteer Work
What Do You Get From Working?
Employer Skills / Qualities – Top Ten
Session 2
Multiple Intelligences
Compare Tests
Skills Checklist
Your Ideal Job
Career Investigation – Plan A
• Students are encouraged to attend career talks / presentations / seminars / open
• Careers Options RDS.
Year 6 Organisation
• Formal class contact – one class period /week
• Mandatory Individual sessions by appointment
An integral part of the programme is the involvement of guest speakers, attendance at
career seminars, open days etc.
1. Stress Management
2. The National Framework Of Qualifications – NFQ
3. Studying Abroad UCAS /UNICAS
4. CAO Points System
5. Central Applications Office – CAO
7. Student Grants – SUSI
8. Post Leaving Cert Option
9. Transition To College
10. Exam Technique
11. Future Skills
12. Checklist – Before You Leave School External
• Students are encouraged to attend career talks / presentations / seminars / open
• Careers Options RDS. (Appendix VI)
Year 6 LCA Organisation
• Formal class contact – one class period /week
• Mandatory Individual sessions by appointment Syllabus
Leaving Cert Applied “Guidnace Module” Unit 3 and 4

Session 3
Career Expo – Questions
Career Expo – Evaluation
Career Investigation – Plan B
Career Plans A & B
Learning Styles
Session 4
Careers To Suit Your Own Skills, Intelligences & Interests
Five Year Career Action Plan
Vocational Preparation & Guidance Reflection
Application Forms
F.E. College Application Form – Sample
Cover Letter Advice
C.V. Writing Advice
Interview Advice
Tailor Made C.V. & Cover Letter
Cover Letter – Template
C.V. – Template
Key Assignments Checklist
• Students are encouraged to attend career talks / presentations / seminars / open
days, Apprenticeship Expo
• Careers Options RDS.
Homework Procedures
Formal homework is not usually given. Students complete an application form prior to
attending vocational guidance interview.
Assessment Procedures / Evaluation
Career Interest Inventory (Careers Portal)
Values Questionnaire (Classroom Guidance)
MUASIC Psychometric (Classroom Guidance)
Skills and Qualities Inventory (Classroom Guidance)
Kahoot quizzes on-line and on mobile devices used at the end of each Unit to assess
Record-keeping Procedures
Two types of records:
1. Detailed Personal records of all Personal counselling and Careers/Vocational
Guidance Interviews.
2. Summary reference records of Personal Counselling sessions.
Reporting Procedures
In both Personal Counselling and in Careers/Vocational Guidance Interviews the
confidentiality rule is followed i.e. school management, class teacher, year head and/or
parents/guardians are informed if it is felt that the student is a danger to him/herself and/or
to others or it is a legal requirement. The student is informed of the limits of confidentiality
at the beginning of a session. If it is felt it is in the student’s best interests to inform a
Teacher/Parent/Guardian of a particular difficulty, this is only done with the knowledge
and hopefully the agreement of the student.
In-Career Development
To maintain qualified membership of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors a chartered
Member must complete 10 hours of in-service training annually (IGC Constitution and
Code of Ethics 2004).
In-Career development is essential to the work of the Guidance Counsellor. Regular
attendance at local IGC meetings and Counselling Supervision is facilitated by the school
through sensitive timetabling. The IGC AGM provides a range of in-service trough the
provision of workshops and presentations relevant to our work. Additional in-service is
organised at local or/and at national level and is open to all registered current members of
the IGC. The DES supports the provision of in-service for IGC members through funding.
The IGC has numerous links with organisations all offering in-career development.
Attendance at open days, career seminars etc all constitute in-career development. A
template to record in-career development is included (Appendix IX)
1. Assessment tests for all year groups comes under the remit of the Learning Support
Teacher. Cat 4 is the intelligence test chosen. Other Careers psychometrics are used
as mentioned above.
9 Protocol for meetings
1. Meetings with students
2. Meetings with Parents/Guardians
All meetings are by appointment. Students make appointments. Subject teachers have the
right to refuse a student to attend the Guidance Counsellor if it interferes with their
Parents/Guardians make appointments with the Guidance Counsellor by telephoning the
school. Appointments are usually conducted during the school day, but, may in certain
circumstances be arranged after school. All parties are requested to inform each other if a
cancellation is necessary. On occasion, the Guidance Counsellor may request another staff
member e.g. Year head, subject teacher or/and management to be present at a meeting. The
student is always invited in for whole or part of the meeting with approval of
Parents/Guardians. This gives the student responsibility, ownership and inclusion in the
meeting outcomes. Notes are kept of all meetings by the Guidance Counsellor.
Links with Staff / Outside Agencies
The following demonstrates the whole school dimension of Guidance and the collaboration
between the whole school community and the Guidance Counsellor.
• Management
• Home School Liaison Officer
• Year heads
• Class Teachers
• Teaching Staff
• Transition Year Coordinator
• Pupils/Prefects/Student Council
• Parents…Parents Association…
• Care team
• SPHE teachers
Outside Agencies
• CDETB Psychological Services
• Social Workers
• Employers
• Colleges/Admission Officers
• Colleges of Further Education
• Community…Gardaí, Defence Forces
11. Policies
Guidance- Related Policies
• Anti-Bullying
• Deis Plan
• Critical Incident
• Substance Abuse
• Special needs provision
The Education Act, 1998
Planning the School Guidance Programme. National Centre for Guidance in Education
Planning the School Guidance Plan, School Planning Development Initiative (SDPI),2004
Guidelines for Second Level Schools on the Implications of Section (© of the Education
Act 1998, relating to students access to appropriate guidance. DES,
Circular letter No PPT 12/05: Guidance Provision in second-Level Schools.
Institute of Guidance Counsellors – Constitution and Code of Ethics 2004
Central Application Office (CAO)
Department of Education and Science
Institute of Guidance Counsellors
National Centre for Guidance in Education
National Qualifications Authority of Ireland
Classroom Guidance
Careers Portal