School Guidance Counsellors have called on the Government to fully restore Guidance teacher allocation to the level it was at before cuts were implemented in 2012.

The Institute of Guidance Counsellors says a survey it has carried out shows that the allocation of Guidance Counsellors in schools is around 10% lower than pre-2012 levels.

The survey found that the level of reduction varied considerably depending on school type, with voluntary or religious run secondary schools reporting that they remained 18% below their pre-2012 levels.

While much of what was cut in 2012 has been gradually restored, the new system does not ring-fence Guidance Counselling allocations and therefore schools have discretion to use hours they have been granted for Guidance Counselling or for the provision of subject teaching.

Of 600 posts that were cut in 2012, more than 400 have been restored, and a further 100 are expected to be restored in the next budget.

The IGC has called for the final 100 posts to also be restored.  

Over 343 schools took part in this survey, with more than half of respondents belonging to the voluntary schools sector.

The IGC says their study also found that just over one-third of guidance counselling activities in schools appeared to be delivered by either non-qualified guidance counsellors or externally sourced individuals.

The President of the IGC, Beatrice Dooley, said that this was also a cause of concern.