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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Wellington Rugby Zeroes: Sevens To Move To Hamilton

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester: “The Sevens has been a big part of recent Wellington history but it was time for the event to move on… Wellingtonians have been voting with their feet in the last few years and we’ve seen the result in dwindling crowd numbers and lower ticket sales.” More>>

ALSO:

Matafeo & Dravid: The Billy T And Fred Award Winners For 2017

At the final show of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co. the Festival came to a close after 115 shows in Auckland and 68 shows in Wellington. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: What’s Fair? Tax and Fairness

This is an excellent and timely book, since apart from general statements about increasing or mostly reducing tax, there has been very little comment or debate as to whether we should pay tax at all and how much tax should each of us pay. More>>

Ockham Awards: Globally Lauded Novelist Wins NZ’s Biggest Fiction Prize

Internationally renowned Ngāruawāhia resident Catherine Chidgey has won New Zealand’s richest writing award, the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, for her novel The Wish Child. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland