Guidance officers (GOs) have three key responsibilities in primary schools: conducting psychometric assessments and supporting student and staff wellbeing.
- Cognitive assessments, also known as IQ tests, are useful for identifying a student's cognitive strengths and weaknesses. In addition to the IQ score, information about a student's capacity in five domains is provided. This information is useful for teachers and other professionals, such as paediatricians, who seek to understand a child's learning capabilities. Written consent from a parent/carer is required for a psychometric assessment to be conducted. A confidential written report is provided to parents who are asked to meet with the GO to discuss the assessment results. A copy of this report is also securely stored at school and teachers are invited to discuss the results with the GO. Specific intervention strategies are provided to parents and classroom teachers to assist them as they support the cognitive development of each assessed child.
- Student wellbeing is nurtured using a holistic approach: each child's social, emotional, academic, physical, and spiritual needs are considered. GOs promote student wellbeing in three main ways: (i) individual counselling, (ii) working with teachers to support students, and (iii) working with parents/carers. Information may only be shared with external agencies when parents provide written consent.
Parent/carer consent is required for ongoing counselling. Counselling sessions are treated as confidential unless (i) a student is assessed to be at risk of harm or has been harmed, and/or (ii) a student requests the GO share information with others, and/or (iii) the GO considers parental involvement is necessary.
GOs support teachers with student wellbeing by suggesting strategies to support individual students and providing guidance for classroom wellbeing programs.
GOs work with parents to nurture their child's wellbeing by suggesting parenting strategies, and/or parenting programs, and/or children's programs/activities.
- Staff wellbeing is supported via one-on-one professional discussions and the delivery of group professional development sessions when requested.
Our current Guidance Officer, Ms Joy, works at Coolnwynpin State School 3 days per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.