Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Counsellors sound warning on education sector adjustments

The NZ Association of Counsellors is warning that fixing ‘the tail’ of the education sector won’t happen until politicians put adequate resources into pastoral care and emotional support for students who are suffering from a huge range of psychological issues.

“Everyone agrees that kids can’t learn if they are hungry. But nor can they learn if they are dealing with a wide range of psychological stresses and associated learning issues,” says NZAC spokesperson, Sarah Maindonald.

“And for many of those students who comprise ‘the tail’, these stresses are an everyday fact of life for which they get little or no support.”

Ms Maindonald says a recent ERO report[1] highlights the need to boost school counsellor resources as part of enhancing pastoral care.

The reviews says growing numbers of secondary school students are seeking help with problems, and their needs are increasingly complex

The report recommends reviewing the formula used to calculate counsellor staffing levels in schools.

“The teachers at the coal face are dealing with large classes of students with increasingly complex presentations. These teachers need effective back up, not extra positions at management level.”

Ms Maindonald says an average week can see school counsellors dealing with parental separation, self-harming, parental death, suicidal thinking, drug and alcohol issues, peer conflict, family violence, parenting problems, sexual abuse disclosures, suspensions (counselling support legally required), depression, anxiety, eating disorders and, particularly in Christchurch now, increased post-traumatic stress.

While the problems may not be created at school they manifest themselves there, and they affect a student’s ability – and motivation - to learn.

“There is a wealth of evidence, both here and overseas, that shows students’ learning and educational achievement can be enhanced through the provision of appropriate and effective pastoral care interventions.

“We hope the ERO report will lead to action being taken on counsellor to student ratios as this will mean more students can access appropriately qualified and skilled professional help and support when they need it.

“And this, in turn, will enhance their ability to learn,” Ms Maindonald said.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news