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MINISTERS'S DIRECTIVE NO. MD 2003-03 School Counsellors

Supercedes CIRCULAR 89-08

Pursuant to section 8 of the School Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. S-2.1, I hereby issue the following Minister’s Directive concerning School Counsellors.

In this Directive School Counselling refers to:

  • Processes which are designed to assist students in the development of self understanding, interpersonal skills, problem solving capabilities and coping strategies.
  • Developmental programming which fosters planned interventions to stimulate and actively facilitate the development of students in all areas; that is, personal, social, emotional, career, moral-ethical, cognitive and aesthetic; and to promote the integration of the several components into the individual’s life style.

School Counselling services are an integral and essential component of the educational process for all students as they progress through the educational system. The need for these services is dictated by the complexity of the human growth process, the demands on youth and the ever changing nature of society.

The aims of school counselling services, which are based on a developmental hierarchy, are to provide students with:

  • opportunities to develop knowledge and an appreciation of themselves and others;
  • opportunities to develop relationship skills, ethical standards and a sense of responsibility;
  • opportunities to acquire skills and attitudes necessary to develop educational goals which are suited to their needs, interests and abilities;
  • information which would enable them to make decisions about life and career opportunities.
Administrators and teachers contribute to the implementation of these aims, both informally and through curriculum, as well as by identifying and referring students who have particular needs. Specific counselling functions require the intervention of qualified school counsellors and consultant staff.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Department of Education has the responsibility for coordinating school counselling services. Specifically, the department shall provide the following services to School Boards:
    • Provincial coordination of school counselling programs and services;
    • Consultation with School Boards regarding the organization, development and maintenance of school counselling programs and services;
    • Consultation with School Boards and the Prince Edward Island Counselling Association in providing in-service training;
    • Consultation with School Boards and the Prince Edward Island Counselling Association regarding the preparation of program guidelines and materials;
    • Maintenance of a process to provide school counselling materials;
    • Consultation with other government departments.
  2. School Boards are expected to maintain school counselling policies and/or regulations which are consistent with the Provincial School Counselling Directive. Specifically, School Boards are expected to make provision for the following:
    • School counselling services for all students enrolled in school;
    • The employment of qualified personnel for school counselling positions;
    • The establishment of a process for the referral of students which, when appropriate, includes procedures for obtaining parental permission.
  3. Counsellors within the schools are responsible for providing supports and resources to students at all grade levels, to their families and to educators. These services are intended to facilitate the educational, personal, social, emotional and career development of students in school and in the community. Specifically, school counsellors are expected to provide a continuum of preventative, developmental, remedial and intervention services and facilitate referral to community resources through activities such as:
    • Provide group and individual counselling;
    • Assist with communication between school and home;
    • Assist in identifying learning needs and abilities and in developing learning/action plans;
    • Consult with teachers and with other professional agencies for specialized assistance;
    • Promote and implement programs and services which ensure that the rights of children and youth are upheld;
    • Serve as a member of the school based student services team.
Qualifications of Counsellors

In order to carry out school counselling functions which are consistent with the aims established in this Directive, it is necessary that individuals who are employed as school counsellors possess knowledge and skill in this area.

It is essential that counsellors hold a PEI Teaching Certificate and have a graduate degree in counselling, or equivalent, from an accredited university that includes training in counselling theory with a supervised counselling practicum.

Additional desirable qualifications include:

  • teaching experience
  • graduate course in assessment

DATED this 11th day of June 2003

J. Chester Gillan
Minister of Education


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