Guidance refers to a range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence, designed to assist students to make choices about thier lives and to make transitions consequent on these choices. These choices may be categorised into three seperate but interlinked areas Personal and Social, Educational and Career.
Counselling empowers the students to make decisions, solve problems, change behaviours and resolve issues in thier lives. Sometimes in Newport College this may be personal counselling, educational counselling, career counselling or it may involve combinations of each. Counselling is a key part of the school guidance key programme offered on an individual or group basis as part of a developmental learning process and at moments of personal crisis.
The guidance counsellor provides support also to parents, teachers and the school management in assisting the personal and social, career and educational development of the students.
Career Guidance and Counselling is viewed in Newport College as a process- not an event- which begins on the students entry in first year and continues right through the five years spent in the school. Very often a number of past students who are perhaps experiencing some difficulty in third level education or are seeking help in securing or changing employment contact the school for assistance and advice.
All students have a right to confidentiality in their dealings with the School Guidance Counsellor (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 another student's 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.
Psychological and educational assessments/tests are useful insofar as they provide information for the SGC and others for whom it is relevant. Judicious use of test information is helpful in predicting academic and occupational performance, classifying ability, assessing remediation requirements and levels of achievement. Assessment results are important. Yet, their dissemination is of equal or greater importance. In returning the results of a student's assessment, the SGC must be aware of the confidentiality and sensitivities of the student and the manner in which the SGC shares the information with the student.
Tests may include: Personality tests, Aptitude tests, Interest inventories, Problem checklist, General ability tests, Performance tests, School exam results and Public exam results.
Information for Parents
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, a phone call 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.