Guidance in post-primary schools within the lifelong context is aimed at students from the ages of 12 to 18 and relates to programmes from levels 3 to 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications. The Guidance programme is provided to both junior and senior cycle students.
Guidance is an entitlement in post-primary schools as per the Education Act (1998) Section 9 which states that a school shall use its available resources ...
to (c) ensure that students have access to appropriate guidance to assist them in their educational and career choices.
Guidance in post-primary schools is a whole school activity that is integrated into all school programmes. Guidance in schools “refers to a range of learning experiences provided in developmental sequence, that assist students to develop self-management skills which will lead to effective choices and decisions about their lives. It encompasses the three separate, but interlinked areas of personal and social development, educational guidance and career guidance.” (DES, 2005, pg. 4).
The document Guidelines for Second-Level Schools on the Implications of Section 9(c) of the Education Act 1998, Relating to Students' Access to Appropriate Guidance (DES, 2005), indicates that a guidance programme should be part of a school plan and identifies the central role of the guidance counsellor as well as the important contribution of different members of staff to the role of guidance. The Whole School Guidance Plan for the school should take account of the needs of all Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students. Guidance also forms part of the curriculum in the Transition Year Programme (TYP), the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) and Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP).
In 2017 NCGE launched the NCGE ‘Whole School Guidance Framework’. This framework schools in their planning of the guidance programme and outlines the expected guidance related learning outcomes for the students in school