School Counsellors Making a Difference


‘Do they make a difference? YES’ is a new resource for New Zealand high school boards and principals, outlining how they can support effective counselling practice in their school.

This resource provides an accessible summary of how school boards and principals can best promote safe practice and effective counselling in their schools. We have produced this resource to support principals and boards of trustees who are often having to make decisions about counselling without adequate guidelines.   We respectfully suggest that a follow up conversation with your school guidance counsellor be scheduled to discuss the content of the resource and what steps need to be taken to further develop an effective service in your school.

We recommend this resource be used in conjunction with the School Guidance Counsellor Appointment Kit, which provides information about employing a counsellor, how the guidance counsellor fits in the school, and the principal / guidance counsellor relationship.

The resource stemmed from the 2013 ERO review of guidance provision across the country, which found that the student to counsellor ratio, counsellors appraisals, and specific policies and procedures around counselling were insufficient in many schools.

The resource was funded by the Ministry of Education and created by NZAC with the Ministry signing off on the completed resource.  Further work around best practice guidelines for school counsellors are being considered by the School Counsellors’ Advisory Group.