Counselling in a secondary setting – developing policy and practice
In this chapter I propose to explore how secondary schools and colleges can work towards the development of a policy on counselling and guidance.
If one looks at the development of counselling in secondary settings the model is largely one based on problem-solving work with individuals or groups. This reflects the developments in training and thinking. In the 1970s the predominance of the Rogerian or 'client-centred' model can be seen. There were counselling training courses for those wishing to become counsellors in schools, where counsellors did exist. Their existence was not always unproblematic (see Richardson, 1974) but many schools employed them. In the early 1980s many factors impinged to change the situation. First, there were cuts in education spending and counsellors came to be seen as a luxury; in many local authorities counselling posts were the first to be cut. Second, there was an increase in the emphasis on counselling skills for all teachers, influenced by the work of people such as Egan (1986). This was in contrast to the emphasis on the Rogerian model. Third, there was an increasing interest and debate on the use of counselling in applied settings, that is in settings where counselling was not the primary task of those engaging in it. Fourth, there was an increase in the development of programmes of work for students which aimed to give the concepts of counselling and guidance to the students. These programmes were often called guidance programmes or personal and social education
courses and they developed the teacher's role from a reactive to an educative one.