More guidance counsellors for grades 7 and 8
Minister of Education announces changes to the funding formula
Up to now, school boards received funding for elementary school guidance counsellors at a rate of 1 for every 1000 students. But the funding formula is changing for students in grades 7 and 8.
The province has announced that boards will receive funding for guidance counsellors for students in grades 7 and 8 at the same rate as high school students, which is 1 counsellor for every 384 students. This will mean – according to the Ministry of Education – at least 450 more guidance counsellors in schools with grades 7 and 8.
People for Education has been calling for this change for a number of years because students in these grades are facing a number of sometimes challenging transitions – emotional, social, and the transition to high school. They must make choices about what course they will take and what pathway they will be on in high school. Some of these choices have long term impacts. An increased number of guidance counsellors will help with this. Principals have been raising concerns about the lack of guidance counsellors in elementary schools for a number of years:
We really need additional funding to have guidance counsellors available at the elementary level to facilitate proper life planning and transition to high school.
Elementary school, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB
This year, only 14% of elementary schools had guidance counsellors, and the majority were part-time. In elementary schools that include grades 7 and 8—where students are preparing to transition to secondary school—only 20% had guidance counsellors, and the majority part-time. Among elementary schools that had a guidance counsellor, they were scheduled for an average of 1.5 days per week.
The new funding may also help with ongoing regional discrepancies.
Read People for Education’s most recent report: The Expanding Role of Guidance Counsellors