Whole School Guidance Planning

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Whole School Guidance Planning:

This document outlines initial content that may be added to/ included in a schools’ Whole School Guidance Plan where the provision of digitalised Guidance in schools is required.

Digitalised Guidance is an emerging area of guidance provision which began nationwide in March 2020, following Covid19 school closures.

This resource has been collated by the NCGE in consultation with the Department of Education in response to many requests from Guidance Counsellors since March 2020.

The aim of this resource is to facilitate reflection and planning in post-primary schools at a time when digitalised contact with students is emerging and evolving. This resource not intended to be prescriptive, exhaustive nor final where the provision of digitalised Whole School Guidance is concerned. This resource provides suggestions of key areas which need to be discussed and agreed upon within schools at the current time (start of academic year 2020/21). This planning document should be reviewed and updated regularly in a school as the landscape of digitalised guidance evolves over the short and medium term.

It should be noted that this document is intended as an ‘add-on’ to a detailed and annually reviewed Whole School Guidance Plan.

Digitalised Whole School Guidance Insert for Whole School Guidance Plan:

Academic Year 2020/2021

North Monastery CBS

Introduction to Digitalised Guidance

This resource outlines the decisions made at local school level about the logistics of digitalised / online school guidance provision in our school.

All content was discussed and agreed between School Management and the School Guidance Counsellor(s). The approach to digitalised Guidance in our school is documented here in line with:

The Institute of Guidance Counselling: Core Competencies and Professional Practice, (2018) and the IGC’s The Data Protection Handbook (2020) on all aspects of GDPR compliance as it applies to guidance counselling, as well as our school’s own policy on GDPR and acceptable internet use.

A Whole School Guidance Framework document (NCGE, 2017)

(Covid-19) Support information for Guidance Counsellors in Schools (NCGE, 2020)

Continuity of Guidance Counselling – Guidelines for schools providing online support for students (DES, 2020)

Continuity of Schooling (DES, 2020)

Digitalised Guidance is provided in our school in line with the continuum of support model (NCGE, 2017 p12): Guidance for A Few, Guidance for Some, Guidance for All. This resource outlines the provision of digitalised guidance in line with that continuum. The first section outlines the logistical approach for ‘Guidance for A Few,’ a second section notes the approach for ‘Guidance for Some’ and the third section refers to ‘Guidance for All.’ In addition, a final section outlines how our school will coordinate Whole School Guidance, should the school have to close for part of the year or if some staff must self-isolate.


Guidance for A Few:

In North Monastery Secondary School  all students will have access to one-to-one supports from teachers, support teams and the Guidance Counsellor, where appropriate.

Parents / Guardians will be informed that these services are available on the school website.

In each of these communications, parents are invited to contact the school directly should they wish to discuss the provision of such supports.

In North Monastery CBS we agree to undertake our Guidance for a Few (one-to-one sessions) as follows:

Platform Used: Microsoft Teams
How and when students may be contacted: It is not possible to schedule virtual meetings due to Child Protection and privacy concerns however referrals can be made to external agencies should the need arise.

Email contact can be continued during a limited time frame (e.g. following the ‘normal’ local school timetable, 9am-4pm). Contact with students should not occur outside of these agreed times.

Personal phone numbers will not be exchanged between the Guidance Counsellor and students / parents / guardians.

Contact with parents may arise when: A Child Protection issue arises.


Our approach to contacting parents in this event is that the Principal and DLP, Grace O’Sullivan will make the initial contact. In the absence of both Principal and Deputy Principal, the Guidance Counsellor may make contact.


Students are identified as needing one-to-one support through several school processes: Self-Referral – students may self-refer by sending an email to the Guidance Counsellor. Students will then be advised via email about their options.


Student support team: Teachers are aware they can contact the student support team by email if they are concerned about a student. The student support team will then take appropriate action which may include referral to the Guidance Counsellor.


Parents: If parents are concerned for their children, they may contact the Principal, Year head or Guidance Counsellor. Parents are informed of how contact can be made on the school website.


Other Avenues: We will monitor the other means through which students are referred this year and will add those means to this document for future years.


DLP and DDLP: Our school procedures for communication with the DLP and the DDLP are

contact via email or phone

Grace O’Sullivan DLP

Karen Cronin DDLP

Jim Boyle DDLP in the event of Grace O Sullivan absence.


If an emergency/child protection issue arises during a time when digitalised guidance is taking place, the agreed protocol is to contact Grace O’Sullivan immediately.


Communication with management: School management are fully aware of and have agreed on all aspects of this document.

This document was discussed and agreed on Wednesday 4thNovember 2020.

It is agreed that this document will be reviewed yearly.


The guidance counsellor will meet on a weekly basis to update management on how digitalised guidance is progressing.


Record Keeping & GDPR:  We store paper records. The Guidance Counsellor ensures these are safely stored, are not accessible to others and are returned to the school premises as soon as is practicable.


Guidance for Some:

A definition of ‘Guidance for Some’ can be found on the ‘Whole School Guidance Framework’ document (NCGE, 2017 p13)

In North Monastery CBS digitalised ‘Guidance for Some’ will operate in line with our school’s ‘Remote Learning Policy’ as follows:

Timetabled classes for year groups will be replaced by videos, PowerPoints and information links uploaded to MS Teams groups.

Students will be invited to take part in group sessions on certain topics e.g. for those students applying to CAO/SUSI/HEAR / those students who would like to learn about a career in the health sciences etc

Students may contact the Guidance Counsellor via email or chat facility on MS Teams. Contact will be restricted to school hours only. Students and parents will be informed about this on the school’s website and social media accounts.

Guidance for All:

A definition of ‘Guidance for All’ can be found on the ‘Whole School Guidance Framework’ document (NCGE, 2017 p12)

In North Monastery CBS digitalised ‘Guidance for All’ will operate in line with our school’s ‘Remote Learning Policy’ as follows:

The Guidance Counsellor connects with all students e.g. Whole School Online Assembly / Year Group Assembly / All senior cycle students etc. via the school website and social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter). This will occur regularly as needs be.

Coordination of Whole School Guidance:

This section describes how the school approaches the management and coordination of whole-school guidance if a blended/digitalised approach must be undertaken in our school. The Guidance Counsellor will meet with school management on a weekly basis at the SST meetings. In relation to ’emergency’ Child protection-related procedures, the Principal will be contacted directly by phone followed up by email if needs be. The Student Support Team will meet weekly on Zoom.

The content of this document has been agreed by Grace O’Sullivan, Principal
and Karen Cronin, Guidance Counsellor on Wednesday 4th November 2020

This document will be reviewed and updated on  05/05/2021