At Sutton Park School we have a dedicated team of counsellors in our Career Guidance and Counselling Department who support students with their emotional development, identifying talents and potential and exploring further study and career opportunities.

We provide three main areas of counselling

  • Personal guidance and counselling
  • Educational guidance and counselling
  • Career guidance and counselling

The work of the school Guidance Department reflects Sutton Park’s mission statement and ethos which strives to ‘nurture and develop the best qualities in each of our students.’ Guidance is a core requirement of the school’s overall programme and represents an integral part of the school’s pastoral support structure. The Guidance Counsellors work in close co-operation with the Principal, Deputy Principal, SEN department, year heads, tutors and other members of staff to provide appropriate guidance and counselling services for all students.

The department provides both classroom-based and one-to-one personal meetings and support from first year to sixth year across a range of topics from study skills and study planning to career exploration and college applications. The school’s Careers Programme is provided through the Futures module in transition year, individual meetings for fifth and sixth year students, attendance at relevant careers or colleges events and visiting speakers. Students are guided through the application procedures for third level colleges both in Ireland, the UK and other countries abroad where required. Students are also supported to develop effective job-seeking skills such as curriculum vitae design and interview techniques.

Our Guidance policy has been developed in accordance with Section 9(C) of the Education Act (1998) which requires schools to …. “ensure that students have access to appropriate guidance to assist them in their educational and career choices ….”. Section 9 (d) also requires schools “to promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of students.”

At Sutton Park School, we plan and deliver a comprehensive whole school guidance programme that meets the needs of all students. We aim to facilitate students to gain the skills to manage their own educational, training, occupational, personal, social, and life choices so they reach their full potential and contribute to the development of a better society.

We have a strong referral system in place which recognises that all staff in the school community have a responsibility to be observant of the care needs of the student. To ensure all students are supported in a sensitive and timely manner, our clear and easily accessed referral form can be used by staff to refer students to the Guidance & Counselling Department to access support. Students may refer themselves for support at any time and parents can also refer their student by means of a phone-call or an email to year-heads, the guidance department, SEN, principal, vice-principal.

The Guidance Programme is based on the premise that guidance is both a whole school concern and a specialist area within education. In applying the continuum of support model, Sutton Parks whole school guidance programme aims to meet the needs of students along a continuum, from a whole school approach to group and individualised approaches. The continuum model can be applied to guidance as follows:

Guidance for All

Provided to all students to support personal & social, educational, and career development, and students making transitions (incoming first years, junior cycle to senior cycle and from senior cycle into apprenticeships, FET, HE and employment). The guidance counsellor as the specialist has a key role to play in coordinating the planning and delivery of the whole school guidance programme and in the provision of guidance to students. A whole school approach is employed in delivering the learning and teaching activities of the school guidance programme which include, career education programmes, SPHE and Wellbeing in Junior Cycle, guidance modules and work experience/placement provided as part of senior cycle programmes (TY).

Guidance for Some

Provided to specific groups of students to support personal & social, educational and career development and transition making. Such groups of students will typically include, for example, students in senior cycle, especially 6th year, who will benefit from group and one-to-one guidance counselling to support educational and career decision making, and students who are making transitions. Transition points include: primary school into first year of post-primary education, junior cycle to senior cycle, and school to higher/further education and training, apprenticeships and employment. Some students may require additional and more intensive support in making transitions. Group/one-to-one guidance counselling will require the expertise of specialist school staff, such as the guidance counsellor working in collaboration with the student support team, SPHE teacher and year heads.

Guidance for a Few

Students may require support in meeting their developmental needs and when they experience personal crises. Some students may also require more intensive support as they make transitions. This support will require the expertise of specialised school staff with the necessary knowledge, skills and competences to respond to the needs of these students and will involve the guidance counsellor, and other school staff who have been trained in meeting the needs of vulnerable students and those who may have additional needs. In the event that the student requires more intensive support, referral to external agencies and supports are employed. In the event of a protracted referral the guidance counsellor/staff member may need to provide continued support to the student.


Further education

Careers Portal Database
Qualifax Database
Central Applications Office Ireland
UK College Applications
European Universities Central Application Support Service
Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI Grant)
Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)
Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)

Career Exploration

Careers Portal Careers Interest Inventory
UCAS Career Explorer
Careers Portal Database
My UniChoice
Career Exploration Videos
Working with Languages