Personal Guidance



The school guidance counselling service is administered by a professionally trained School Guidance Counsellor (SGC). The SGC, as part of a school team, focuses primarily on the personal and social, educational and vocational development of his/her students. The aim of the service is to professionally answer the guidance and counselling needs of the student (the central figure in the learning process) in the context of the overall school mission. Individual and personal guidance is available to the students via the school e-mail, The Educational, Vocational and Personal Guidance Counselling sections of the KTCS website and the KTCS Guidance Twitter page #ktcscareers.

The Guidance Counselling Service includes:

Counselling is an interactive learning process between counsellor and student, whether individual or group, which approaches, in a holistic way, personal, educational and/or vocational issues. The availability of a counselling service can support individual students inside/outside the classroom context, the pastoral and the disciplinary structures in the school. Competitiveness, bullying, social exclusion, family crisis, academic under-achievement, abuse, peer pressure, concerns on sexuality, substance mis-use and racism are some of the problems which can be assisted with the support of counselling.

Individual Counselling - is an interactive process, which facilitates meaningful understanding of the self and environment and/or clarification of goals and values for future behaviour.

Group Counselling - is a broad term covering types of counselling for more than two people. In group counselling members listen to, support and challenge each other and thus, learn to be open, constructive, assertive and to experience how others see them.

It is essential that a counselling service within the school operates in collaboration with processes within the school, which promotes the wellbeing of the school, particularly pastoral and disciplinary teams. Working within the requirements of The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors Code of Ethics for legitimate practice, ensures that the service is properly supervised and monitored so that the student needs are prioritised, and their rights protected. The service would be both reflective of, and in line with, the Dept. of Health and Children's National Guidelines for the protection and welfare of Children (2011), the Dept. of Education and Skills Guidelines on Child Protection and the Children First Act 2015.

The SGC along with other specialised teachers i.e. The School Chaplain, facilitate and partake in developmental programmes designed to help students with their personal/social, educational and vocational development.
In personal/social development the programmes would include personal and social skills, self-awareness, decision-making skills, planning and health promotion.

In educational development the programmes would include subject/course/level choices, motivation and learning and study skills/exam techniques.

In vocational development the programmes would include employment opportunity awareness, Educational and training courses, higher and technical education choices and job search skills.

SGC consultation is provided by and to significant adults in the student's life. These adults include the school principal, the deputy principal, year heads, pastoral team, teachers, external agencies and parents. These consultations - advice, information or counselling -must always recognise the primacy of the student's integrity and the need to maintain appropriate confidentiality.

All students have a right to confidentiality in their dealings with the SGC. The right is not universal, however, and there are some cases in which - for the student's best interest - confidentiality cannot be guaranteed e.g. in the case of abuse, bullying, and risk to life. In counselling the student, the counsellor should make the student aware that confidentiality could not be guaranteed in any of the above cases and that information of this nature would have to be referred on. In short, students who meet with the SGC will be informed of the following

1) All things discussed are confidential between the student and the SGC except when the student himself or another person is at risk
2) Any information which highlights that the student or another person is in danger.
3) If the student is in danger of doing grievous harm to himself.

Ethical awareness is a prerequisite for the SGC. He/she is obliged to operate, in policy, process and practice in an ethical manner. The SGC's primary focus is the welfare of the student and he/she is ethically bound to act in the best interest of the student. The counsellor must act within the law and within the ethical guidelines as outlined by his/her profession. The SGC is expected to be competent in and mindful of the legal and ethical responsibilities of his/her work. Furthermore, the SGC is ethically obliged to seek out new developments in the personal, educational and vocational fields with a view to improving the overall counselling service to the student. The SGC is also required to attend regular Supervision. .

The SGC is involved in preparation of transitions with the students at different stages of the student's secondary education at KTCS
1) The junior cycle student, moving into transition/fifth year will need preparation regarding subject levels, work experience and the importance of decision-making now for his future.

2) The Leaving Cert. classes have been prepared since transition/fifth year for this stage. However, preparation for the actual leaving of school must now intensify. Information is the key factor in sixth year along with one to one counselling. The student must be properly prepared for post-schooling options e.g. employment, training, further education, emigration,

The SGC alone will not be able to deal with the totality of preparation necessary in a second level school. However, preparation for transitions can be successfully undertaken as a member of a team, which includes parents, pastoral care members, co-ordinators of TY and LCVP, and management.

The SGC is a member of an overall Pastoral Care team which includes subject teachers, year heads, principal, deputy-principal, Learning Support., school chaplain and ancillary staff. The team meets every week to discuss ways to support our students. Furthermore, the SGC, in conjunction with staff and management, will be central to and supportive of pastoral teams and policies which attempt comprehensively to deal with in-school issues.

Referral is, in essence, a two-way process. The SGC may refer and he/she in turn may be the recipient of referrals. Referrals may come to the SGC from parents, staff, principal or deputy-principal. Students who are referred to the SGC cannot be forced to attend and their choice must be respected. If, however, a student is referred and comes to the SGC their presence will be acknowledged and welcomed.

The SGC, in consultation with the relevant parties - parents and/or principal (DLP*) - may also refer a student to an external, appropriately qualified professional. A legitimate referral (one made with the received permission of the necessary people) may occur after the SGC has made an informed decision that the student's situation requires assistance beyond the SGC's professional training.

*Permission sought from the Designated Liaison Person for a referral by the SGC to an external agency e.g. Health Board, Educational Psychologist etc...

It is important that parents are made to feel free and welcome to come and visit the guidance counsellor. An appointment system is the best operational mode in this way. Alternatively, an email from parents over a concern can be accommodated quickly. Also, as part of overall school information dissemination e.g. school notices, parent-teacher meetings, open nights, enrolment days etc. information regarding guidance and counselling is made available as required and on the school website,


  • Establishment of Wellbeing team to promote positive mental health in KTCS by running competitions, Distributing Green Ribbons and Guidance counselling brochure, coordinating events etc.
  • Raising of Amber flag to celebrate Positive mental health initiatives in the school to date with Guest Speaker Mr Johnny Doyle.
  • Showing of Dean Morgan’s Award winning film Walk in My Shoes to Junior Cycle classes
  • Presentation for 6th years by Marc Mulligan on Building Resilience
  • Presentation for 6th years by Holly Hanlon PhD Adolescent Psychology of Positive Mental Health
  • Presentations for 6th years by The Samaritans Newbridge
  • Presentations for Junior Cycle by Simon James, on a MentalHealth, Online Safety & Cyber Bullying

Personal Websites for Young People website exploring issues of mental health magazine exploring health and media Website supporting positive mental health Samaritans provides 24-hour emotional support to anyone experiencing distress, despair or suicidal thought. Barnardos Bereavement Counselling for Children is a service for children and young people who have lost someone close to them - like a parent or a sibling - through death. a registered charity, is a peer-support programme to assist children, youth and adults who are grieving a death, separation or other painful transition in their family. Website on eating disorders Website on healthcare services for both men and women

Kildare Town Community School
Dunmurry Rd,
Kildare Town,
Co. Kildare,
R51 D288

045 535228

© 2024 Kildare Town Community School