It offers a unique and effective support system to pupils and parents. It makes a major contribution to the ethos and general well-being of the school and through this, it affects levels of achievement and attainment of Scottish young people. At its best, it offers a model of collaborative practice that draws together a range of professional services.
By omitting guidance from the proposed new promotion and management structure, it appears to be left as a hostage to local agreement as to whether or not it survives. This is without any debate or evaluation of the effectiveness of guidance. It is also a odds with a number of initiatives that are reliant on a vibrant and effective system of guidance for their success. These include the Higher Still entitlement, new community schools and a commitment to inclusive education. None of these initiatives can hope to succeed without a strong guidance system in place. Having recently been involved in producing a training video entitled A week in the life of a school guidance team, I know the extent and significance of the work carried out by guidance professionals. I hope that the next stage of negotiations recognises the place and contribution of promoted staff in guidance and offers them a secure future, not only for their own benefit, but for the general well-being of Scottish secondary education.
Michael Hough Senior lecturer, faculty of education, Strathclyde University