Written answers

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Teaching Qualifications

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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298. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of an application by a person (details supplied) to have their masters in work and organisational psychology qualification recognised by the National Centre for Guidance in Education; the reason for the delay in processing the application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30367/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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I can advise the Deputy that in order to be a recognised Guidance Counsellor in a post primary school, one must hold (a) a post-primary teaching qualification (PME) (b) a recognised qualification in school guidance counselling and (c) be fully recognised by the Teaching Council as a post-primary teacher.

Circular 0031/2011 on Teacher Recruitment, Registration and Qualifications and sets out to ensure, as far as possible, that people appointed to teach are registered teachers with qualifications appropriate to the sector and suitable to the post for which they are employed...”

In exceptional circumstances, where a school can demonstrate that it has tried on many occasions and was unsuccessful in recruiting a fully qualified guidance counsellor/ teacher, that school may be permitted to employ a guidance counsellor (who does not have a teaching qualification) but only on the unqualified teacher’s pay rate without increments. This may be permitted as a temporary, interim measure until either the guidance counsellor completes the PME or the school recruits someone who is fully qualified. 

Details of the qualifications recognised by the Department of Education for the purpose of Guidance Counselling in post primary schools is available here: 

The  Department’s Programme Recognition Framework (PRF) clearly outlines the criteria for recognised  training and qualifications of guidance counsellors to work in the schools and Further Education and Training (FET) sector in Ireland.  In accordance with this  framework, The Department intends that there will be a formal process for the recognition of guidance  qualifications other than those recognised through the PRF  process, however the finalising of the details of this process was delayed due to the impact of the Covid pandemic.

I understand that the individual concerned has been in contact with the National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE), an agency of the Department, in relation to recognition of their  qualification by the Department.Following qualification this summer with appropriate Teaching Council recognition which is a prerequisite for employment as a guidance counsellor in schools, the Department will consider all of the relevant information for the recognition of their qualification for the provision of guidance counselling in schools.

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