Review of Guidance Counselling provision in second level schools Report of the findings

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1 Review of Guidance Counselling provision in second level schools Report of the findings NCGE 2013

2 NCGE, 2013 Disclaimer Every effort has been made by NCGE to ensure that the information provided in this report is accurate. No responsibility, however, can be accepted for omissions or errors that may have occurred. No part of this publication may be reproduced or translated in any form or by any means without the permission of NCGE.

3 FOREWORD I am pleased to present this report of the findings of the Review of Guidance Counselling provision in second-level schools undertaken in 2012 to the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE) Management of Guidance Committee. NCGE is the agency of the DES tasked with informing policy on guidance and supporting the development of good practice in guidance in the education sector in accordance with national and international best practice. Guidance is recognised at EU and International levels as a vital element within lifelong learning to support both economic and social goals and is reflected in our legislation. The Education Act 1998 Section 9 (c) states that a school shall use its available resources to ensure that students have access to appropriate guidance to assist them in their educational and career choices. It is our role in NCGE to support schools to ensure that this guidance provision is appropriate to their students needs and that it is provided by appropriately qualified staff. The role of the guidance counsellor and of the whole school guidance programme within second-level schools is highlighted in several related DES guidelines and documents. Circulars from the Department of Education and Skills have, to date, provided details of how resources for guidance are allocated and the required guidance qualifications of the teacher assigned as its guidance counsellor. As a result of a government budget decision, the exquota allocation for guidance provision in schools was removed from September This review was carried out by NCGE in 2012 on behalf of the DES and the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee, to inform plans for the support of guidance provision in schools, following the removal of the ex-quota allocation. The report details and makes recommendations from data gathered from guidance counsellors and school principals in second-level schools nationally. The review did not, however, seek the views of students or parents in this instance on the impact this has had, or will have, on student s educational or career choices into the future. It is evident from this report that while some schools management have endeavoured to continue to provide guidance within their schools there is, on average, a 25% reduction in guidance counsellor hours in schools nationally. Findings highlight that the removal of the ex-quota allocation for guidance has impacted on the delivery of the guidance programme in schools. Mindful of the current fiscal environment it is important to ensure that the provision of guidance remains central to whole school planning and, specifically, the need to provide 2

4 students with relevant skills for living and working in the 21 st Century. While initially required to provide information for planning the DES and NCGE supports for guidance in second-level schools from 2013, the data gathered and the contents of this review report can also provide an initial evidence base to the DES for the strategic planning of sustainable and quality guidance provision in second-level schools into the future. Clarification of the resources available to schools, and clarification of the personnel qualified to provide personal, social, careers and educational guidance in classroom, group and 1-to-1 delivery is essential. Schools management will require support to ensure that the provision of guidance in schools by qualified guidance counsellors is prioritised, and guidance counsellors will require support to document their guidance practice within a whole school approach. NCGE is committed to working in collaboration and partnership with all relevant stakeholders in the development of policies which continue to support the provision of quality guidance in second-level schools into the future. I would like to thank the Department of Education and Skills, Barra Ó Briain (Chair) and the members of the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee for their support in this process. Acknowledgment must go to Linda Darbey, Guidance Programme Co-ordinator, for her professional commitment to this research and to Barbara Caska at Research by Design for her assistance with the data analysis. My sincere thanks also to those school Principals and guidance counsellors who recognised the value of such research and took the time to complete the questionnaires in Phases I and II. Is mise le meas Jennifer McKenzie Director, NCGE 3

5 BROLLACH Tá áthas orm an tuairisc seo ar thorthaí an Athbhreithnithe ar sholáthar na Treoirchomhairleoireachta i scoileanna dara leibhéal , a rinneadh i 2012, a chur faoi bhráid na Roinne Oideachais agus Scileanna (ROS) agus Choiste Bhainistiú Comhairleoireachta an Lárionaid Náisiúnta um Threoir san Oideachas (LNTO). Is é LNTO an áisínteacht ROS atá sannta le heolas a sholáthar mar bhunús le polasaí ar threoir agus le tacú le forbairt an dea-chleachtais sa treoir in earnáil an oideachais faoi réir an dea-chleachtais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Tá sé aitheanta ag leibhéil AE agus Idirnáisiúnta go bhfuil an treoir ina gné rí-thábhachtach laistigh den fhoghlaim ar feadh an tsaoil chun tacú le spriocanna eacnamaíocha agus sóisialacha araon agus léirítear é seo inár reachtaíocht. Deir an tacht Oideachais 1998 Alt 9 (c) go n-úsáidfidh scoil na hacmhainní a bheidh ar fáil di chun a chinntiú go mbeidh rochtain ag mic léinn ar threoir chuí chun cabhrú leo i dtaca lena roghanna oideachais agus gairme. Is é ár ról san LNTO ná tacú le scoileanna lena chinntiú go bhfuil an tacaíocht treorach seo oiriúnach do riachtanais a scoláirí agus go gcuirtear ar fáil í ag foireann atá cáilithe mar is cuí. Aibhsítear ról an treoirchomhairleora agus an chláir scoile uile um threoir laistigh de scoileanna dara leibhéal i roinnt treoirlínte agus cáipéisí ábhartha de chuid ROS. Go dtí seo, thug imlitreacha ón Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna sonraí ar an gcaoi ina leithdháiltear acmhainní don treoir agus ar na cáilíochtaí treorach atá de dhíth ar an múinteoir atá sannaithe mar threoirchomhairleoir. Mar thoradh ar chinneadh buiséid an rialtais, cuireadh deireadh leis an leithdháileadh ex-quota do sholáthar na treorach i scoileanna ó Mheán Fómhair Rinne LNTO an t-athbhreithniú seo i 2012 ar son ROS agus Choiste Bhainistiú Comhairleoireachta LNTO, chun eolas a sholáthar mar bhunús le pleananna chun tacú le soláthar na treorach i scoileanna, i ndiaidh an leithdháileadh a bheith bainte. Tugann an tuairisc sonraí agus déantar moltaí ó shonraí a bailíodh ó threoirchomhairleoirí agus ó phríomhoidí scoile i scoileanna dara leibhéal go náisiúnta. Níor lorg an tuairisc, áfach, tuairimí na scoláirí nó na dtuismitheoirí an uair seo maidir leis an tionchar a bhí aige sin, nó a bheidh amach anseo, ar roghanna oideachais nó gairme scoláirí sa todhchaí. Is léir ón tuairisc seo, cé go ndearna an bhainistíocht i roinnt scoileanna iarracht leanúint den treoir a sholáthar laistigh dá scoileanna, go bhfuil, ar an meán, laghdú 25% in uaireanta do threoirchomhairleoir i scoileanna go náisiúnta. Aibhsíonn na torthaí go raibh drochthionchar ag críochnú an leithdháilte ex-quota don treoir ar sholáthar an chláir um threoir i scoileanna. 4

6 Agus aird againn ar an timpeallacht airgeadais reatha, tá sé tábhachtach a chinntiú go bhfanann soláthar na treorach i gcroílár na pleanála scoile uile agus, go háirithe, an gá le scileanna cuí a sholáthar do scoláirí chun maireachtáil agus chun obair sa 21 ú Céad. Cé go raibh na sonraí de dhíth ar dtús chun eolas a sholáthar d fhonn tacaí ROS agus LNTO a phleanáil do threoir i scoileanna dara leibhéal ó 2013, is féidir leis na sonraí a bailíodh, agus le hábhar na tuairisce athbhreithnithe seo, bonn fianaise tosaigh a sholáthar don ROS d fhonn pleanáil straitéiseach a dhéanamh do scoth-sholáthar inbhuanaithe na treorach i scoileanna dara leibhéal amach anseo. Tá sé riachtanach soiléiriú a dhéanamh ar na hacmhainní atá ar fáil do scoileanna, agus ar an fhoireann atá cáilithe chun treoir phearsanta, shóisialta, gairme agus oideachais a sholáthar i seomraí ranga, i ngrúpaí agus duine le duine. Beidh tacaíocht de dhíth ar bhainistíochtaí scoile chun a chinntiú go dtugtar tús áite do sholáthar na treorach i scoileanna ag treoirchomhairleoirí cáilithe, agus beidh tacaíocht de dhíth ar threoirchomhairleoirí chun a gcleachtas gairme a chlárú laistigh de chur chuige scoile uile. Tá LNTO tiomanta don obair i gcomhair leis na páirtithe leasmhara cuí uile chun polasaithe a fhorbairt a leanann den tacú le soláthar na treorach den scoth i scoileanna dara leibhéal sa todhchaí. Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil leis an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, le Barra Ó Briain (Cathaoirleach) agus le baill Choiste Bhainistiú Comhairleoireachta LNTO as a dtacaíocht sa phróiseas seo. Ní mór aitheantas a thabhairt do Linda Darbey, Comhordaitheoir an Chláir um Threoir, as a tiomantas gairmiúil don taighde seo agus do Barbara Caska ag Research by Design as a cúnamh leis an anailís ar shonraí. Mo bhuíochas ó chroí freisin leis na príomhoidí scoile agus leis na treoirchomhairleoirí sin a d aithin luach an taighde agus a ghlac an t-am chun na ceistneoirí i gcéimeanna I agus II a líonadh amach. Is mise le meas Jennifer McKenzie Stiúrthóir, LNTO 5

7 TABLE OF CONTENTS FOREWORD... 2 BROLLACH... 4 Glossary... 9 LIST OF TABLES... 9 Section 3: Phase I Section 4: Phase II Section 5: Phase I and Phase II Comparative Analysis PHASE I: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Allocation of hours for guidance Planning Time spent providing guidance to JC, SC and PLC Time spent providing individual guidance Additional hours worked by guidance counsellors PHASE II: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Allocation of hours for guidance Time spent providing guidance to JC, SC and PLC students Guidance programme coordination and planning Additional hours worked by the guidance counsellor SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT Structure of Report SECTION 2: METHODOLOGY PHASE I AND PHASE II Phase I Questionnaire Design Pilot Research Sample Data Coding and Analysis Limitations of the Research Phase II Questionnaire Design Pilot Research Sample Data Coding and Analysis Limitations of the Research

8 SECTION 3: PHASE I FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS Respondent Characteristics School Type School Size Question 2: Allocation of Hours for Guidance Counselling i. Current allocation from the Department of Education and Skills for guidance ii. Extra guidance hours provided under the Guidance Enhancement Initiative (GEI) iii. Additional hours allocated by the school for guidance from the general teacher iv. Any other hours allocated by external sources/funding for guidance v. Total allocated hours for guidance each week Question 3: Whole School Guidance Planning Question 4: Staff with Guidance Counselling Hours Question 5: The Guidance Programme Question 5a Question 5b Question 6: Additional Comments/Information i Changes to the allocation of hours for guidance ii The role and importance of guidance counselling iii Comments on the questionnaire iv Guidance Counsellor time exceeding the allocation of hours for guidance v. Other comments Summary and Conclusion SECTION 4: PHASE II FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS Respondent Characteristics School Type School Size Question 2: Allocation of Hours for Guidance Counselling i) Allocation (last school calendar year) a. Allocation of hours per week by the DES for guidance (including GEI hours) b. Additional hours allocated by the school for guidance from within the general teacher allocation and external sources/funding for guidance ii) Current allocation of hours for c. If the school has not allocated hours for guidance (guidance counsellor hours only) please indicate how the school will provide students with access to appropriate guidance Question 3: Staff with Guidance Counselling Hours ( )

9 Question 4: Whole School Priorities for the Guidance Programme Question 5: The Guidance Programme a: Delivery of the guidance programme contact hours with students Question 5b: Guidance Programme Coordination and Planning Question 6: Any Other Comments i. Strengths ii. Challenges iii. Opportunities iv. Threats v. Recommendations vi. Other Summary and Conclusion SECTION 5: PHASE I AND PHASE II COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS Question 2: Difference of hours: allocation to allocation Question 3: Number of guidance staff and staff with guidance qualifications Question 5a: Delivery of the guidance programme student contact Question 5b: Guidance programme coordination and planning SECTION 6: RECOMMENDATIONS ARISING FROM THE RESEARCH SECTION 7: RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE DES FROM THE NCGE MANAGEMENT OF GUIDANCE COMMITTEE, IN LIGHT OF THE REVIEW REPORT FINDINGS REFERENCES Section 3: Phase I Section 4: Phase II Section 5: Phase I and Phase II Comparative Analysis Section 7: Recommendations to the DES from the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee.. 70 APPENDICES Appendix I: Phase I Questionnaire Appendix II: Phase II Questionnaire Appendix III: Department of Education and Skills - Allocation of Hours for Guidance Appendix IV: Phase II Questionnaire Guidelines Appendix V: Members of the NCGE Management Committee

10 Glossary (In order of appearance in the report) DES NCGE MGC AEGAI DSGC HEA IGC NAPD DSP DEIS GEI FETAC FES JC SC PLC LCA SPHE DARE HEAR RACE JMB LGBT ELGPN Department of Education and Skills National Centre for Guidance in Education Management of Guidance Committee Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland Directors of Studies in Guidance Counselling Higher Education Authority Institute of Guidance Counsellors National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals Department of Social Protection Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools Guidance Enhancement Initiative Further Education and Training Awards Council Free Education Scheme Junior Cycle Senior Cycle Post-Leaving Certificate Leaving Certificate Applied Social Personal and Health Education Disability Access Route to Education Higher Education Access Route Reasonable Accommodations in Certificate Examinations Joint Managerial Body Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network 9

11 LIST OF TABLES Section 3: Phase I Table 3.1: Schools reporting an allocation under Schedule A Table 3.2: Table 3.3 Table 3.4 Table 3.5 Table 3.6 Table 3.7 Table 3.8 Table 3.9 Table 3.10 Table 3.11 Table 3.12 Table 3.13 Table 3.14 Table 3.15 Table 3.16 Table 3.17 Table 3.18 Table 3.19 Schools reporting an allocation under Schedule B Schools reporting an allocation under the DEIS Programme FES Schools: total allocated hours for guidance each week Schools in the DEIS Programme: total allocated hours for guidance each week Schools with a written plan Schools with a written plan according to school size Staff member with a qualification in guidance Timeframe in which guidance qualification was obtained Mean estimated percentage of time per week devoted to guidance Mean estimated percentage of time per week devoted to guidance by school type Mean estimated percentage of time per week devoted to guidance by school size Estimated percentage of time per week for each Cycle Estimated percentage of time per week for individual/group guidance by Cycle Junior Cycle estimated percentage of time for each area of guidance Senior Cycle estimated percentage of time for each area of guidance PLC estimated percentage of time for each area of guidance Estimated percentage of time on guidance according to Cycle Estimated number of hours spent on guidance activities 10

12 Section 4: Phase II Table 4.1 Total allocation of hours by school size: Table 4.2 Total allocation of hours by school type: Table 4.3 Allocation of hours by school size: Table 4.4 Allocation of hours by school type: Table 4.5 Table 4.6 Table 4.7 Table 4.8 Table 4.9 Table 4.10 Table 4.11 Table 4.12 Table 4.13 Table 4.14 Table 4.15 Table 4.16 Phase II: Staff with hours for guidance Phase II percentage of staff providing guidance with a recognised guidance qualification Mean estimated percentage of student contact time per week Mean estimated percentage of student contact time per week by school size Mean estimated percentage of time per week for each Cycle Mean estimated percentage of time per week for individual/group guidance by Cycle Junior Cycle Mean estimated percentage of time for each area of guidance Senior Cycle Mean estimated percentage of time for each area of guidance PLC - Mean estimated percentage of time for each area of guidance School size Mean estimated percentage of time on guidance according to Cycle Estimated Mean number of hours spent on guidance activities Additional time reported on guidance activities Section 5: Phase I and Phase II Comparative Analysis Table 5.1 Differences in the Mean allocation of hours for guidance from and by school size Table 5.2 Number of total guidance staff at Phase I and II 11

13 PHASE I: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This summary highlights some of the findings which emerged from Phase I of the Review. Please note an ex-quota allocation of hours for guidance was provided by the Department of Education and Skills to schools during the Phase I timeframe. Allocation of hours for guidance 52% of schools entitled to an allocation of hours for guidance under Schedule A (Free Education Scheme - FES) report providing hours equal to or greater than their allocation from the Department. 100% of schools entitled to an allocation of hours for guidance under Schedule B (non FES) report providing hours equal to or greater than their allocation from the Department. 36% of schools entitled to an allocation of hours for guidance under DEIS report providing hours equal to or greater than their allocation from the Department. Taking additional hours from within the general teacher allocation and external sources into consideration: 83% of schools entitled to an allocation under Schedule A report providing hours equal to or greater than their allocation from the Department; 80% of DEIS schools provide hours equal to or greater than their allocation. Planning Over 83% of schools report either having a written guidance department plan, whole school guidance plan or a whole school development plan. Time spent providing guidance to JC, SC and PLC 73% of schools that report spending time on Junior Cycle report providing up to 1/3 of their time doing so; 89% of schools that report spending time on Senior Cycle report providing 51% or more time doing so; 68% of schools that report spending time on PLC report providing up to 20% of their time doing so. Time spent providing individual guidance 68% of schools report that 1/5 of their time on Junior Cycle is spent providing individual guidance; 47% of schools report that between 1/3-1/2 of their time on Senior Cycle is spent providing individual guidance; 74% of schools report that up to 20% of their time on PLC is spent providing individual guidance. Additional hours worked by guidance counsellors Guidance counsellors work hours each week (estimate) in addition to the hours allocated to them for guidance. 12

14 PHASE II: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This summary highlights some of the findings which emerged from Phase II of the Review. Please note that from September, 2012 schools were expected to resource guidance provision from within the general teacher allocation i.e. during the Phase II timeframe. Allocation of hours for guidance For the school year small schools report an average total allocation of 14.5 hours, medium sized schools 24.2 hours and large schools 40.1 hours. For the school year voluntary secondary schools report an average total allocation of 22.2 hours, vocational schools 23 hours and community and comprehensive schools 30.1 hours. For the school year 233 schools report providing an allocation of hours for guidance. The average reported hours is 17.7 hours. The average reported hours for the school year are 10.7 hours for small schools, 19.4 hours for medium sized schools and 27.7 hours for large schools. The average reported hours for the school year are 16.8 hours for voluntary secondary schools, 16 hours for vocational schools and 22.7 hours for community and comprehensive schools. Time spent providing guidance to JC, SC and PLC students 161 schools report providing a Mean (average) of 15.5 student contact hours each week. On average 26.7% of time is reported with Junior Cycle students, 74.5% with Senior Cycle students and 49.3% with PLC students. Guidance programme coordination and planning The total hours reported for time spent on guidance activities was 16.4 hours on average. Additional hours worked by the guidance counsellor Schools report an average of 11.1 hours worked by the guidance counsellor in addition to the school s allocation of hours for guidance. 13

15 SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT The National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE) is an agency of the Department of Education and Skills, operating under the aegis of Léargas The Exchange Bureau, established in 1995 to support and develop the practice of guidance in educational settings (www.ncge.ie for more information). In carrying out its remit to support the development of guidance in educational settings the Centre, from time-to-time, undertakes reviews of guidance in second-level schools. In February, 2012, in response to changes to the funding of guidance provision in secondlevel schools announced in Budget , the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee 2 took the decision to conduct a Review of Guidance Counselling Provision in Second-Level Schools. The aim of the Review was to provide NCGE and the Department of Education and Skills with information concerning the provision of guidance in schools (from February May and September December, 2012) to enable both NCGE and the Department to plan for supporting guidance in second-level schools from 2013 onwards. The Review consisted of two phases, Phase I was conducted from February May, 2012, and Phase II was conducted from September December, This report outlines the findings of the two Phases and makes recommendations to the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Management of Guidance Committee for supporting the practice of guidance in schools from 2013 onwards. Structure of Report This Report is structured as follows: Methodology Phase I and Phase II Phase I Findings and Analysis Phase II Findings and Analysis Phase I and Phase II Comparative Analysis Recommendations arising from the research Recommendations to the DES from the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee, in light of the review report findings References Appendices 1 The Minister for Education and Skills announced that from September, 2012 guidance counselling in secondlevel schools will be funded from within the General Teacher Allocation. 2 The NCGE Management of Guidance Committee consists of representatives from the Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland (AEGAI), the Department of Education and Skills, the Directors of Studies in Guidance Counselling (DSGC), the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC), Léargas, the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), NCGE. From October, 2012 representatives from the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and FÁS joined the Committee. 14

16 SECTION 2: METHODOLOGY PHASE I AND PHASE II Phase I Questionnaire Design In designing the questionnaire the previous questionnaires employed by the Audit of Guidance in Post Primary Schools (2001) and the Review of Guidance in Second Level Schools (2006) were consulted. Questions from these previous reviews were included in the present review as these questions had yielded useful data and were regarded as having content validity by NCGE. Some changes were made to the wording and organisation of the questions due to changes in the provision of guidance since these reviews were first undertaken. In total the questionnaire consisted of six questions: Question 1: demographic information school name, roll number, school type, size and DEIS status. Question 2: allocation of hours for guidance counselling in four parts current allocation from the Department of Education and Skills, Guidance Enhancement Initiative (GEI) hours, additional hours from within the general teaching allocation and any other hours allocated by external sources/funding for guidance. Question 3: whole school guidance planning a written school development plan, a written whole school guidance plan, a guidance department plan. Question 4: staff with guidance counselling hours total number of staff to whom specific hours for guidance were allocated, guidance qualifications of staff with guidance hours. Question 5: the guidance programme estimate of the percentage of time per week devoted to guidance practice: Junior Cycle, Senior Cycle and PLC, area of guidance, individual/group guidance; estimate of the number of hours per week devoted to guidance activities. Question 6: any other comments/information. The Principal and the guidance counsellor(s) were asked to sign and return the completed questionnaire (see Appendix I for the questionnaire) to NCGE. To assist Principals and guidance counsellors in completing the questionnaire guidelines including a sample response to question 5a (see Appendix II) were provided. Pilot Prior to the distribution of the guidelines and questionnaire to schools the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee and a research expert were asked to provide feedback on the questionnaire and guidelines. In addition NCGE asked five guidance counsellors working in different types of second level schools located in urban and rural 15

17 settings to review the questionnaire and accompanying guidelines. Feedback from the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee, the research expert and all five guidance counsellors was taken into consideration and the guidelines and questionnaire were adjusted according to the feedback received. Research Sample The questionnaire, accompanying guidelines and a cover letter were sent to the school Principal in 724 second-level schools in February, The Principal was asked to consult with the guidance counsellor(s) when completing the questionnaire and to return the questionnaire to NCGE by the 26 th March. The timeframe for return of completed questionnaires was extended to April to facilitate schools completion of the questionnaire. The questionnaire and guidelines were also made available on the NCGE website Data Coding and Analysis The questionnaires were coded on their return to NCGE. Each questionnaire was allocated a number for identification purposes and was crossed referenced with the Department 2011 list of second-level schools (www.education.ie). The data presented in the questionnaire was checked for accuracy and was cleaned as appropriate for missing school roll number, missing enrolment, hour data entered as proportion of a Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) post, numeracy errors and typological errors. The questionnaires were then sent to a researcher for data entry and analysis into the Statistics Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (www.presidion.com). Descriptive analyses were undertaken using SPSS for questions 1-5 and themes were identified for question 6. Limitations of the Research A limitation of the research was the timing of the Review which may have influenced the way in which the questionnaire (namely question 5) was responded to. The questionnaire was circulated to schools in February, 2012 and respondents were asked to estimate in question 5 (a and b) the percentage of time/number of hours devoted to the guidance programme each week. Many respondents reported difficulty in answering this question as it was difficult to quantify the percentage of time/number of hours due to the focus and activities of the guidance programme varying throughout the year. It was expected that responses to this question were likely to reflect the guidance programme from February March as this timeframe would be most recent in respondents minds. It is anticipated that a question of this nature would need to be put to guidance counsellors about four times a year to get an overall picture of the percentage of time/number of hours devoted to guidance activities each week on an annual basis. A second limitation was that the number of respondents to a question varied. respondents also failed to provide complete data for the survey. Some 16

18 Phase II Questionnaire Design In designing the questionnaire for Phase II the previous questionnaire employed for Phase I of the Review was reviewed based on respondents completion of the Phase I questionnaire. Feedback from Phase I respondents was also taken into consideration and the Phase II questionnaire was revised and re-worded where appropriate to make the questions more meaningful, mainly question 5. In addition, certain questions were re-worded to take into account the new context i.e. the absence of an ex-quota allocation from the Department of Education and Skills from September 2012 (see Appendix III for Department ex-quota allocation to schools), therefore question 2 was revised to take this change into account and to allow for comparisons between the and allocation of hours for guidance. In total the Phase II questionnaire consisted of six questions: Question 1: demographic information school name, roll number, school type, size and DEIS status. Question 2: allocation of hours for guidance counselling in two parts part one: the allocation from the Department of Education and Skills and additional hours allocated by the school for guidance from ; and part two: the current allocation of hours by the school for guidance from Question 3: staff with guidance counselling hours for and the guidance qualifications of staff with guidance hours. Question 4: the whole school priorities for the guidance programme in Question 5: total number of hours allocated by the school for guidance provision by the guidance counsellor each week. o 5a: delivery of the guidance programme contact hours with students o 5b: guidance programme coordination and planning Question 6: Any other comments/information. The Principal and the guidance counsellor(s) were asked to sign and return the completed questionnaire (see Appendix II for the questionnaire) to NCGE. To assist Principals and guidance counsellors in completing the questionnaire guidelines, including sample responses to questions where appropriate, were provided. Pilot As with the Phase I questionnaire, prior to the distribution of the guidelines and questionnaire to schools, the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee and a research expert were asked to provide feedback on the questionnaire and guidelines. In addition NCGE asked six guidance counsellors (one of which had recently taken on a position of 17

19 deputy principal and two recently retired) working in different types of second-level schools, located in urban and rural settings, to review the questionnaire and accompanying guidelines. Feedback from the NCGE Management of Guidance Committee, the research expert and all of the guidance counsellors was taken into consideration and the guidelines and questionnaire were adjusted according to the feedback received. Research Sample The questionnaire, accompanying guidelines and cover letter was sent to the school Principal in 727 second level schools in October, The Principal was asked to consult with the guidance counsellor(s) when completing the questionnaire and to return the questionnaire to NCGE by the 16 th November, The timeframe for return of completed questionnaires was extended to January, 2013 to facilitate schools completion of the questionnaire. The questionnaire and guidelines were also made available on the NCGE website Data Coding and Analysis The questionnaires were coded on their return to NCGE. Each questionnaire was allocated a number for identification purposes and was crossed referenced with questionnaires returned for Phase I in order to establish if the respondent had also participated in Phase I. The data presented in the questionnaire was checked for accuracy and was cleaned as appropriate for missing school roll number, missing enrolment, hour data entered as proportion of a Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) post, numeracy errors and typological errors. The questionnaires were then sent to a researcher for data entry and analysis into the Statistics Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (www.presidion.com). Descriptive analyses were undertaken using SPSS for questions 1-5 and themes were identified for sub sections of question 2 (c and d), questions 4 and 6. Limitations of the Research Limitations of the Research included the following: Results reflect data provided by respondents at a single and potentially unique point in time. Findings may not be expected to generalise across future (or past) cohorts of Irish schools. Only a portion of those providing data at Phase II also returned questionnaires at Phase I. To maximise the value of contributions made by all respondents, findings are presented separately for each Phase. The analyses provided in the section Phase I and Phase II Comparative Analysis allows for examination of trends across the two Phases, with the sample limited to just those who provided data at both times. The number of respondents providing data varies by question. Some respondents failed to provide complete data for the survey. Explanations related to items left blank were provided through comment sections within the questionnaire and 18

20 through attached timetables. These were taken into account during analyses. For example, in the case where comments indicated that the school was new, data on prior year enrolment or allocation was omitted. To maximise the use of data, available responses per question (rather than across the entire survey) were analysed. To examine the profile of schools offering PLC programmes future questionnaires should provide respondents with the option to indicate if FETAC/adult education programmes are offered by the school. This will provide a clearer analysis for this sector. 19

21 SECTION 3: PHASE I FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS The findings and analysis of Phase 1 of the Review are presented below. Please note that the findings reported in relation to each question are the valid percentages unless otherwise indicated. Thus the valid percentages take into account only those respondents who provided an answer to a particular question. n designates the number of respondents to a question and varies by analysis. For convenience purposes the majority of statistics in this report are presented as whole numbers. For the purposes of this Report schools are designated as small when there are less than 400 students, medium when there are students and large when there are 700+ students. Respondent Characteristics 280 completed questionnaires were returned to NCGE and all returned questionnaires were included in the analysis. This represents a response rate of 39% and exceeds that typically reported for postal surveys without follow up letter or postcard (Chiu & Brennan, 1990). Of the 39%, 5% of questionnaires were signed by the Principal only (n=14) and 4% by the guidance counsellor only (n=11). In the event of the Principal only signature this could be attributed to a number of schools not having a guidance counsellor due to maternity/sick leave etc. Other reasons for one signature could be attributed to the relationship/communication dynamics in the school. Regardless of the reason the findings need to take account of the 9% of questionnaires which were signed by one respondent only, some of the data returned may have differed if the second party had been involved in its completion. School Type Of the respondents 141 indicated that they represented a voluntary secondary school, 72 a vocational school, 50 a community/comprehensive school and 15 a school not in the Free Education Scheme (FES). Of schools in the FES, 54% indicated they were voluntary secondary, 27% vocational and 19% community/comprehensive schools. This compares to the national profile as follows: voluntary secondary schools (52%), vocational schools (35%) and community/comprehensive schools (13%). Of the 260 schools who responded to the question on DEIS status 25% of schools indicated that they had DEIS status (nationally approximately 27% of schools have DEIS status). School Size Taking respondents (n=276) who indicated a school enrolment for , 31% indicated that they had less than 400 students (small), 44% students (medium) and 25% students. This compares to the national profile as follows: small (39%), medium (41%) and large (20%) schools. As can be seen from the above frequencies the profile of respondents is broadly similar to the national profile suggesting that the respondents are representative of the population. 20

22 Question 2: Allocation of Hours for Guidance Counselling Schools were asked to indicate the hours per week for the following: i. Current allocation from the Department of Education and Skills for guidance ii. Extra guidance hours provided under the Guidance Enhancement Initiative (GEI) iii. Additional hours allocated by the school for guidance from the general teacher allocation iv. Any other hours allocated by external sources/funding for guidance. v. Total allocated hours for guidance each week. To support the analysis of the data Department of Education and Skills Circular Letters were consulted: Circular Letter PPT 12/5 and the allocation of hours to schools participating in the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) programme (see Appendix III for the Department allocation of hours to schools for guidance until May, 2012). i. Current allocation from the Department of Education and Skills for guidance Respondents were asked to indicate their current allocation from the Department of Education and Skills for guidance. Table 3.1 below presents the reported allocation of hours for guidance for schools which have an entitlement under Schedule A (n=156) i.e. respondents who indicated that the school was under the Free Education Scheme (FES) - schools in the DEIS programme were not included. The percentages below have been calculated on the basis of a cross reference of schools falling under the FES category and the enrolment indicated by the school. From Table 3.1 there are a substantial number of schools reporting an allocation lower to what they are entitled to under Schedule A ranging from 40% for schools entitled to 13 hours up to 69% for schools due an allocation of 28 hours. Schools reporting a higher allocation than that provided by the Department under Schedule A range from 8% (entitled to 36 hours) to 33% (entitled to 38 hours). From Table 3.1 it can be established that small schools, with 299 students and less (entitled to 11 hours or less) do not report an allocation less than the allocation from the Department. This is a change to the findings reported by the Department in the 2006 Review of Guidance in Second Level Schools. The percentage of schools reporting less than their allocation has increased since the 2006 Review, this could be attributed to the lower response rate to this questionnaire and/or a change to the allocation of hours for guidance from the Department since the last Review was undertaken Circular Letter PPT12/05. Perhaps schools were unable to fill the additional hours provided under the Circular, for instance, taking the 24 hours allocated for guidance under Circular Letter PPT12/05 it may have been difficult for a school to source a qualified guidance counsellor for 2 hours each week (as 22 hours is a full time post). 21

23 Table 3.1: Schools reporting an allocation under Schedule A (Circular PPT12/05) Allocation of hours per week Percentage of schools reporting hours Schedule A (hours) Less than allocation Equal to allocation More than allocation 47 44% (n=4) 33% (n=3) 22% (n=2) 38 67% (n=2) - 33% (n=1) 36 67% (n=8) 25% (n=3) 8% (n=1) 30 64% (n=14) 36% (n=8) % (n=18) 31% (n=8) % (n=11) 39% (n=9) 13% (n=3) 17 48% (n=12) 40% (n=10) 12% (n=3) 13 40% (n=6) 47% (n=7) 13% (n=2) 11-86% (n=12) 14% (n=2) 8-86% (n=6) 14% (n=1) n=156 Table 3.2 presents the reported allocation of hours for guidance for schools that have an entitlement under Schedule B i.e. schools not in the FES. From Table 3.2 it can be seen that 100% of schools not entitled to hours from the Department of Education and Skills are allocating hours for guidance. For an 11 hour entitlement from the Department 33% of schools are providing more than the entitlement and for a 22 hour entitlement 75% of schools are providing more than the entitlement. This presents a similar profile to that presented in the 2006 Review. However a small sample of schools provided sufficient data for inclusion in this analysis, so findings should be considered cautiously. Table 3.2: Schools reporting an allocation under Schedule B Allocation of hours per week Percentage of schools reporting hours n=10 Schedule B (hours) Less than allocation Equal to allocation More than allocation 22-25% (n=1) 75% (n=3) 11-67% (n=2) 33% (n=1) % (n=3) Table 3.3 presents schools which reported an allocation under the DEIS Programme. Respondents who indicated that the school was under the DEIS Programme were included in this analysis. From Table 3.3 it can be seen that all schools entitled to an allocation from the Department of Education and Skills of between hours are reporting less of an allocation. In most instances the number of respondents is small i.e. from hours there is typically one respondent for each set of hours. For schools entitled to 22 hours or less, schools reporting more than an allocation from the Department range from 10-34%. 22

24 Table 3.3: Schools reporting an allocation under the DEIS Programme Allocation of hours per week Percentage of schools reporting hours n=56 DEIS (hours) Less than allocation Equal to allocation More than allocation % (n=1) % (n=1) % (n=1) % (n=2) % (n=1) % (n=10) 9% (n=1) % (n=6) 30% (n=3) 10% (n=1) % (n=8) 9% (n=1) 18% (n=2) 11 33% (n=6) 33% (n=6) 34% (n=6) ii. Extra guidance hours provided under the Guidance Enhancement Initiative (GEI) 85 respondents indicated that the school had extra guidance hours provided under the GEI. This represented 30% of the overall sample. The average hours reported by respondents was 8 hours. The hours reported ranged from 2 to 22 with the majority of respondents (41%) reporting 11 hours. iii. Additional hours allocated by the school for guidance from the general teacher allocation 55 respondents indicated that additional hours were allocated by the school for guidance from the general teacher allocation. This represents 1/5 of the total sample. On average, respondents reported providing seven hours per week for guidance from the general teacher allocation with 11 hours being the most commonly reported number of hours. This represents 16% of those schools who reported providing hours from the general teacher allocation. The hours allocated to guidance from the general teacher allocation ranged from 1-22 hours. When examining those schools providing additional hours according to school type (n=53) 55% of voluntary secondary schools, 26% of vocational schools and 19% of community/comprehensive schools reported providing additional hours from the general teacher allocation. Taking school size (n=54) 35% were small schools (<400), 37% medium sized schools ( ) and 28% large schools (700+). The above findings are broadly similar to those of the 2006 Review which found that 29% of FES schools were providing additional hours from within the general teacher allocation, 56% of which were voluntary secondary schools, 31% vocational schools and 13% community and comprehensive schools. Schools were asked as part of this question to specify the source for the additional hours. The sources were identified as follows: Second teacher removed from class to assist 23

25 Allocated from annual quota of SEN hours Curriculum concession Class contact Class tutor/pastoral care Counselling by school chaplain Counselling/Jigsaw project Counsellor in the school one afternoon per week Deputy Principal Free classes given by trained chaplain Guidance counsellor is privately paid full time LCVP World of Work SPHE classes Tutorial class year 1 guidance counsellor VPG classes with LCA I and II Board of Management iv. Any other hours allocated by external sources/funding for guidance 26 respondents reported hours allocated by external sources/funding for guidance. This represents 9% of the overall sample which is similar to that reported in the 2006 Review (10%). The average reported hours allocated by external sources were nine, with four hours being the most commonly reported number of hours (19%). The range of hours was from 1-22 hours. Taking school type (n=23), 61% of voluntary secondary schools, 22% of vocational schools and 17% of community and comprehensive schools allocated hours from external sources/funding for guidance. Looking at school size (n=26), 23% were small schools (<400), 31% were medium sized schools ( ) and 46% large schools (700+). Again, as with (iii) above, respondents were asked to specify the source. The sources were reported as follows: 1.5 days private counsellors 2-3 hours per week from part-time hours Additional counselling support from the HSE Board of Management Chaplain, qualified psychotherapist DEIS Home School Liaison DES concession for counselling Family support services Funded by students, parents association, grant Learning Support 24

26 Life skills coaching (SCP) Trust board Counselling psychologist Occasional counselling Educational psychologist on consultancy basis School Completion Programme v. Total allocated hours for guidance each week The total number of allocated hours for guidance each week for FES schools are presented in Table 3.4. Hours for schools in the DEIS programme are presented in Table 3.5 (please note that for both tables GEI hours are included as the tables represent the total number of hours allocated to guidance each week i.e. the total hours for question 2). Looking at Table 3.4 (total hours for guidance) and at the number of schools reporting less than the hours allocated by the Department each week it can be seen that fewer schools report using less than the Department allocation of hours than in Table 3.1 (hours allocated for guidance under Schedule A) above. This is especially noticeable for schools due 47 and 36 hours each week. There is also an increase in the number of schools (compared to Table 3.1) reporting more than their allocation of hours from the Department e.g. for schools entitled to 47 hours, 89% report providing more than the 47 hours. Table 3.4: FES Schools: total allocated hours for guidance each week Total hours per week Percentage of schools reporting hours n=177 Hours Less than allocation Equal to allocation More than allocation 47-11% (n=1) 89% (8) 38 66% (n=2) - 33% (n=1) 36 7% (n=1) 29% (n=4) 65% (n=9) 30 16% (n=4) 31% (n=8) 54% (n=14) 28 19% (n=6) 39% (n=12) 42% (n=13) 24 30% (n=8) 37% (n=10) 33% (n=9) 17 15% (n=4) 37% (n=10) 49% (n=13) 13 28% (n=5) 22% (n=4) 51% (n=9) 11-71% (n=10) 28% (n=4) 8-50% (n=4) 50% (n=4) Table 3.5 outlines the total allocated hours for guidance each week provided by schools in the DEIS programme. From the table it can be seen that for schools entitled to 38.5 hours or less, between 36% to 70% of schools are reporting more hours than the allocation of hours from the Department. Comparing the information presented in Table 3.5 (schools in the DEIS Programme total guidance hours) with that in Table 3.3 (schools in the DEIS Programme DEIS allocation by the Department) it can be seen that for schools entitled to 25

27 38.5 hours or less, there are fewer schools reporting an allocation (Table 3.5) less than the Department allocation of hours than in Table 3.3. Table 3.5: Schools in the DEIS Programme: total allocated hours for guidance each week Total hours per week Percentage of schools reporting hours n=63 Hours Less than allocation Equal to allocation More than allocation % (n=1) % (n=2) % (n=1) % (n=1) - 50% (n=1) 33-50% (n=1) 50% (n=1) % (n=3) 23% (n=3) 55% (n=7) 22-64% (n=7) 36% (n=4) % (n=3) 7% (n=1) 70% (n=9) 11 11% (n=2) 33% (n=6) 55% (n=10) Question 3: Whole School Guidance Planning Schools were asked the following question: Does the school currently have a: i. written whole school development plan ii. written whole school guidance plan iii. guidance department plan Table 3.6: Schools with a written plan A Written Plan n Yes (%) No (%) Whole school development plan Whole school guidance plan Guidance department plan From Table 3.6 we can see that 84% of respondents reported that the school has a whole school guidance plan; 87% of respondents a whole school development plan and 95% a guidance department plan. This represents an increase from the Review of Guidance in Second Level Schools (2006), undertaken by the Department of Education and Science from , where just over half of respondents (53%) reported that the school had a written school development plan and just over a third (36%) a written school guidance plan. This increase could be attributed to the supports provided to schools in supporting the 26

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