Career Guidance


Mr. B McCarthy

Phone: 01 825 2552

Fax: 01 825 1961

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Guidance is regarded as a core element of the school's overall programme. The guidance programme seeks to respond to the needs of the students at all stages of their education in the school.


The objectives of the guidance programme are not only framed by reference to the legislative requirements, but are also referenced by the good practices disseminated by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors and the National Centre for Guidance in Education. Guidance in the school is viewed as a continual development process which begins prior to the entry of the student into St. Peter’s College.




The aims of guidance include;


  • To provide a framework for the delivery of the school's guidance programme
  • To ensure a structured response is in place to meet the personal, educational, social and career guidance needs of the students
  • To ensure that all students are catered for and included in the guidance activities of the school.
  • To list major guidance activities, initiatives, interactions and strategies such as year plans, schemes of class plans, vocational guidance interviews, educational guidance interviews, attendance at career exhibitions, meetings with management, interactions with support agencies, personal counselling.


 The objectives of guidance include;


  • To help each student become aware of their talents and abilities and how best to utilise these talents and abilities so as to optimise their engagement with education and to reach their optimum potential
  • To assist each student in the identification and exploration of various educational and career opportunities open to them in both second level and post second level
  • To enable students to grow in independence and to take responsibility for their own selves, their learning and their careers
  • To assist in the provision of information so that students may make informed decisions aware of possible consequences and implications.




Guidance refers to the range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence that assists students to make choices - personal and social, educational, and career - about their lives and which enables them to successfully deal with the transitions which result from such choices. A spectrum of activities and services are provided in order to assist students; counselling, assessment, advice, information, educational development programmes, personal and social development programmes, vocational development programmes and referrals.




There are three main areas in which the guidance counsellor exercises his/her role. The three areas are educational counselling, career counselling and personal counselling. Operating in these areas the guidance counsellor works in conjunction with the students, the parents/guardians, the management of the school, and the staff of the school. Whilst the guidance counsellor has the specific training in educational, career and personal counselling, it is only through a collaborative approach that students experiencing difficulties in any of these areas will be given the necessary support and strategies which will allow them to overcome their difficulties and to optimise their learning.


The role of the guidance counsellor is one which is formative, informative and consultative and encompasses helping to direct and develop students' capacity to become self-directed and independent learners, equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed decisions. Such a role is carried out in consultation with the students' parents/guardians and with other members of staff.


The guidance counsellor has a role in informing school management and staff about the operation of the department, in contributing to the development and evaluation of appropriate programmes, in administering psychometric tests and interpreting their results, in managing information, in administering the guidance department and in liaising with appropriate professionals, bodies, and agencies outside of school. The remit of guidance involves three distinct, yet very much interlinked, areas; personal guidance, educational guidance and career guidance.




Although the guidance counsellor is trained to provide a counselling service to students, there are two psychotherapists within the school who are available to meet students requiring a counselling service. Counselling is available on a referral basis. Students are referred by management, staff, parents, or they may self- refer






The issue of career guidance is one which is especially pertinent at senior cycle and the ways in which the guidance counsellor fulfils this role include:


  • The guidance counsellor is available to meet by appointment all students within the school. Parents are also encouraged to make an appointment should they wish to meet the guidance counsellor. There is a night for First Year parents, a night for Third Year parents, and a night for Fourth Year parents
  • Being timetabled on a modular basis to teach Career Guidance to senior students
  • Being timetabled to teach Fifth and Sixth Year students for one period once a week
  • The guidance counsellor advises students on the completion of CAO and UCAS applications to third level colleges.
  • Links are sustained with local industries, third level colleges and colleges of further education.
  • Annual trips to careers conferences are organised for senior students and an annual in-school careers morning is coordinated by the guidance department




The ways in which the guidance counsellor fulfils this role include:


  • Liaising with the Principal and Ceannairi concerning pupils who require intervention
  • Offering those pupils who require intervention educational counselling with regard to study techniques, educational planning and personal organisation
  • Liaising with Year Heads on the delivery of study skills seminars to various student groups
  • Providing guidance and information to students and parents at appropriate stages in their progress through meetings
  • Being available to former students who have left the school to offer advice after the Leaving Certificate results have been issued.
  • Liaise with Special Needs and Learning Support departments to identity students requiring further attention.




Useful Websites


Follow the links to any of these websites


  • This is the website of the Central Applications Office and for those intending to apply to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) the information on the CAO website should be carefully considered.
  • A very useful careers website with a number of resources for students.
  • This is another useful careers website
  • This website outlines how specific applicants to the CAO may avail of the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) or the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE). Both of these schemes are aimed at increasing participation rate in Higher Education.
  • This outlines what financial assistance is available re grants etc.
  • Application website for grant system
  • A very comprehensive site, run by FÁS, giving details of numerous occupations
  • This is the website for those who intend to apply to colleges in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.




Popular College for students of St. Peter’s College