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What is the Counselling Model at your School?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by fubarr, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. fubarr

    fubarr New commenter

    Good Day everyone. I have searched these forums and cannot find anything to do with careers or university counselling posts, which I guess says a good deal about the TES as a ( British) publication! Anyway, I am working in Bangkok at what others seem to think is an excellent British school as a careers/university counsellor/form teacher/subject teacher. I just wonder if all British Schools do this. Indeed do any other International schools follow this model?

    In the past I have worked as a teacher, or a counsellor, the two being distinct jobs.

    At the moment I am wondering how schools can manage to justify to parents who pay a LOT of money for their offspring to attend but are given advice about how their futures may pan out by what are, in effect, part time teachers.

    I was recently at a big international gathering of counsellors from around South East Asia and it would appear that it is mainly British schools that follow this line. When I spoke to counsellors from International Schools they tended to have a discrete role within the school community. No more, even, the old outdated American model of combined university and emotional counsellor, no they have, at least, one of each now.

    I must say that I am a great believer in the jack of all trades master of none school of thought. How, I wonder, can a person plan, teach and deliver a subject to an examination level whilst looking after a tutor group and making sure that they keep abreast of the latest trends in university applications. Whilst people at other schools are flying hither and yon in order to visit universities and to forge relationships with admissions staff I am not allowed to go in case my Year 10 class falls behind!

    Anyway enough of my moaning. Is it just in Bangkok or do British schools in other far flung outposts use this model as well? Am I just being precious? Should I revel in the fact that I do three jobs, probably none to the level which I would like?
    yasf likes this.
  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    im not sure where you are getting your information from, but in every school i have worked in, there have been multiple councillors. in the IB it is a required standard set out by the IB that a school must have them in place. remember that the IB is significantly larger than the "british" system overseas.

    at my current school we have 3 dedicated councillors (thats their only role) across the whole school. this is a common model within IB schools, at least in all the ones i know of.
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    It is not a required IB standard that a school have a college counselor. Nor a CIS nor NEASC standard, nor any standard that I know of.
    It is a standard across these organizations that, loosely speaking, the school must provide appropriate pre-university/life counseling. This can be done through many models, including the model the OP's school uses.
    It is mostly British schools that use that particular model, my guess being because it can be effective with a population of students that mostly wants to go to school in the UK and will use UCAS to apply. It is less effective if you have lots of students wanting to go to uni in the US and a wide variety of countries.
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    page 33, From Principles into Practice under keys roles - "Although structures may differ, all IB World Schools offering the MYP must have systems in place to guide and counsel students through the programme and towards further studies. Staff who counsel students in an MYP school play an integral role in supporting students through their social and emotional learning, as well as with the demands of IB programmes (including assessment)."

    on a school visit, its one of those things you look for, like the librarian. while i know not all schools are IB world schools, there is still a provision that support, both social, emotional and career related are in place for all schools. how that is done is up to the school.
  5. fubarr

    fubarr New commenter

    I am getting my information from 20+ years of International experience and talking to dozens of High School University Counsellors. I know of at least 1 big, British, IB school here in Bangkok who work on the model that I speak of in my original post. I was alluding to university counselling, nothing to do with the MYP.
  6. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    IMHO the lack of councillors in British schools is one of the weaknesses of the system. I have worked in a British overseas school that took on a US style guidance councillor (who was in fact a US citizen) and the acceptances to ivy league and similar US universities went through the roof. It's a time consuming and complicated process applying to US universities, and it appears that having a dedicated person who knows what they are doing really pays off. However I guess it depends on whether the school wishes to make the investment.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Standard B2.9 from the IB (covers all IB programmes): "The school has systems in place to guide and counsel students through the programme(s)."
    B2.9.a (specific to the DP): "The school provides guidance to students on post-secondary educational options."
    CIS Standards:
    "E8 The school offers university/college counselling, assessment, referral, educational and career planning guidance suitable to the age/maturation of all the students in its care.
    "E9 Those students and families making transitions between the divisions of the school, and in and out of the school, are supported effectively through advice, counselling and appropriate information."

    As for "one of those things you look for, like the librarian", well, as trained members of IBEN should know, there is a huge difference between looking for specific positions or structures (which assumes there is one right way to do things), and looking for what structures/supports/positions/resources are in place, and considering whether they are working.

    By the way, you shouldn't be looking for a librarian either: IB Standard B2.6: "The library/ multimedia/ resources play a central role in the implementation of the programme(s)." CIS mentions nothing about a library at all in its standards; it says quite a bit about resources, but doesn't specify how to deploy them.
    I've worked in one school that had no librarians and was authorized by the IB, and been a member of a Visiting Team to another school that had no librarians which was both IB-authorized and accredited by CIS and NEASC. Recently I've been advising another school on their accreditation journey, and guess what - no librarian - and they're also already IB-authorized. The key is having functioning and appropriately resourced library / multimedia resources, not that there is a librarian in charge of it.
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Both were on my checklist (from the IB ) when i did a school visit 6 months ago.
  9. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Hmm A Lead Commentator and an Established Commentator have a ***** wanging contest on something totally removed from the thread. Couldn’t one of you just put it down in a blog?
    Helen-Back likes this.
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Sorry Percy.

    Which checklist would that be? Official IB publications and guidance to schools, only, please.
    It seems pretty unlikely the IB standards and official guidance documents do not require the existence of a college counselor, but the IB has top-secret guidance accessible only to IBEN members which contradicts their public requirements.
  11. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    As for the OP's question, which I summarize as wondering whether other schools use the model her school uses, and wondering about the efficacy of that model.
    I think it's been said already, but here goes:
    Yes, the model is in use in other schools. Mostly British ones.
    As for efficacy, the readers on this forum are in no position to know whether the model is working in the OP's school. But there is some evidence out there that it is working in at least some schools.
  12. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    I guess it depends on what is meant by 'working'. Bright kids with good IB / A level results are going to get offers. However would they get better offers from US universities if the counselling service was more American in style? Probably.
  13. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    The only people who needed counselling at my last school were the staff, from the leadership decisions/contradictions/demands, and bullying tactics of the principal.

    Unfortunately, counselling was not on offer and your contract was simply not renewed if you didn't meet his 'expectations' . . . do what i want, when i want and take the blame when I screw up.

    Suffice to say, never gets a good word for future employees and the place is struggling to make ends meet.
  14. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    I came to the circuit 10 years ago after a three year stint in the Southern hemisphere. Of course there were many shocks to the system. What I learnt, focusing on the OP's question - guidance/career counselors. These positions are a basic fundamental in all sectors, private or public schools. It's not even up for a discussion nor do they need special framework or a visit from the IB, COBIS, CIS, NEASC or whatever other accronyms schools want in their letter head telling them this is needed.

    These roles are certainly an integral part of any secondary school international or not. Any parent with at the latest, Year 9 and onwards child should have these on their checklist.

    As for the quality of the staff and program, that requires individual and personal experiences. Hard to predict from a Tes forum.
    percy topliss likes this.

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