‘Guidance teachers’ or ‘Pupil Support teachers’ are responsible for the pastoral care of young people in secondary school.
In primary school, the class teachers tend to get to know their children and families very well over the course of one or more years of teaching the class. In secondary school, pupils may see as many as 14 class teachers in a typical week, as well as other school staff.
The role of the Guidance Teacher (sometimes known as the Support Teacher) is therefore:
With pupils, to:
- get to know their pupils individually, and look after their general welfare in and around school
- support their personal, educational, vocational and social development through 1:1 work and through the Personal and Social Education Programme
- help them set educational and personal targets
- provide additional support at transition points (e.g. P7 to S1, S2 to S3, after S4) provide a point of access to other services e.g. Careers
- liaise with other school staff in relation to all the above provide and/or help access additional support where a child is experiencing any personal difficulty
- liaise with other agencies e.g. Educational Welfare, Psychological Services
- provide reports for outside agencies
With parents, to:
- be a first point of contact for parents
- develop an ongoing relationship with parents
- report to parents formally and informally on general welfare and progress
- act as a link with other agencies
As a parent, you should view the Guidance Teacher as a first point of contact about any aspect of your child’s education. They are there to help both you and your child get the best from their education. You should feel free to contact them, to discuss your concerns, either by phone or at a meeting.