Dáil Éireann - Volume 523 - 11 October, 2000
Written Answers. - Pupil-Teacher Ratio.
Proinsias De Rossa Proinsias De Rossa
143. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Education and Science the current ratio of career guidance teachers to pupils; his views on the role of career guidance within the education system;  and the plans he has to expand the number of career guidance teachers in our schools. [21489/00]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): Guidance, in both schools and other settings, is a vital contributor in enhancing the benefits of education to participants and, in doing so, to contributing to the economic and social well being of the country. Guidance has been a formal feature to the second level school system for more than 30 years and schools have been given the resources to provide guidance for their pupils.
All schools in the free education scheme qualify for an ex-quota allocation in respect of guidance. The allocation to an individual school is determined by the enrolment in the school. It varies between 44 hours per week in the case of school with an enrolment of 1,000 or more pupils to eight hours per week in the case of a school with an enrolment of less than 200 pupils.
Guidance, in addition to being a specialist area in education, is also a whole school activity which is incorporated in school development planning. This means that, in order to meet the guidance needs of the school, school management consults not only with the guidance counsellor but also with other members of the school community – staff, parents and pupils – on how best an integrated approach to meeting these needs may be formulated. This ensures that the objectives of the schools' guidance programme is aligned with and complements the school's overall programme and ethos. The question of increasing the allocation to schools in respect of guidance will be kept under review in the context of available resources.
Dáil Éireann 523 Written Answers. Pupil-Teacher Ratio.