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Confidence in guidance

I am writing to express my concern about the plight for guidance staff around Scotland from the views of a student entering S3.

I have recently moved from the south of England to Westhill in Aberdeenshire, and found guidance one of the most supportive means of settling in. Since then, there have been personal issues which I could only confide in my guidance teacher.

Talking to someone made a lot of difference and I feel that if similar circumstances had occurred while I was attending my previous school, the help received would not have been so readily available.

I have recently heard of the salary changes for guidance staff and am concerned about the role of guidance gradually disappearing. I am writing in protest, to say that the one big difference that has made Westhill Academy stand out from my previous comprehensive school is the guidance department.

Not only do guidance staff help to resolve pupil problems, but exam and career choices would prove much more of a problem without the help from someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses and a specialist in that area, like a member of guidance.

At my previous school other teachers delivered the personal and social education curriculum, some with very little enthusiasm, and most of the time we ended up planning our social lives. Without the input of guidance which allows pupils to address issues they may have at home or school, they may not reach their potential in other areas of the curriculum where examination means success.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank guidance staff around Scotland for making their pupils happier and more relaxed around school.

Gabriella Eeles (aged 14)

Westhill Academy, Aberdeenshire

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