18 May 2022

School Counsellors

In Romania the rate of early school leavers (ESL) was in 2019 of 15.3% while more than 370,000 children of compulsory school age are out of school, falling through the gaps between the different sectors in Romania (education, child protection, social assistance, health, etc.). Vulnerable children face significant challenges in terms of access and participation to education. And one key front to address all these challenges and generate positive impact is through school counselling. School counsellors work with students of all ages and their families, from pre-kindergarten to grade 12, providing valuable individual or small group support, counselling and psychological assessment for students with specific needs. Their daily work activities may include counselling students, assessing students’ learning and behavior, helping families make informed decisions about their child’s education, identifying adjustments to support students’ learning and liaising with external agencies regarding students’ wellbeing. School counsellors represent an important pillar in preventing and reducing school dropout and early school leaving, in supporting transitions between educational cycles and even for increasing the student outcomes, especially for the most at risk children/students. They have an important role in parenting education and counselling, as well as in liaising with child protection, health or other services in monitoring and cross-sector management of educational risks. However, research demonstrates that student-to-counsellor ratios, how the school counselling program is structured and organized and what counsellors need to do and choose to do matter1. They all are accountable for the efficacy and efficiency of school counselling.