Profile of VET organisation
Name of organization: Secondary Vocational School of Construction and Energy, Business Academy and High Medical School, Chomutov, state-funded institution
Country: Czech Republic
e-mail: [email protected]
Type of VET institute: Upper Secondary vocational education and training
Good practice title
“RaDoSt“ School Counselling Centre
Baseline / problem
From the perspective of a school it is established good practice. The "RaDoSt" School Counselling Centre has been in existence for ten years. It deals mainly with educational counselling, methods of preventing negative social phenomena and career counselling. Employees of the counselling centre help both pupils and parents in solving educational and training problems, in dealing with "addictive substances" and the choice of further education or future employment. Nine teachers with a professional focus on educational counselling, career counselling and prevention are involved in work at the centre.
The establishment of the Centre was necessitated by the need for solution co-ordination of educational and training problems at the former technical school – Integrated high school of energy and building, where the technical fields in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, construction, woodworking and fire protection were taught. The basic principles of the work of the counselling centre were set there, including the delimitation of competences of involved staff and the system settings of administrative work in solving problems and solving educational and disciplinary measures.
In 2011, there was a combination of the technical school with the Business Academy and the High Medical School. Given the fact that these two schools have not yet been introduced to these principles, there has been a gradual implementation.
The consulting centre consists of three groups of workers, i.e. educational consultant, prevention specialist and career counsellor.
- cares for pupils with special educational needs on the basis of a report from the counselling facility (educational-psychological counselling, special education centre)
- cares for talented pupils and foreign pupils,
- provides information to pupils and their guardians in educational counselling,
- looks for students who require special attention and prepares proposals for further care,
- helps pupils in the 1st grade to adapt to a new environment,
- helps pupils with weak or insufficient grades, seeks for redress possibilities,
- together with the class teacher they monitor the absence of pupils, hidden truancy and conduct negotiations with legal representatives, methodically helps the school's teaching staff on issues of integration of pupils, processing individual education plans, etc.,
- maintains administration, collects specialised news and information about pupils in school counselling care (in accordance with regulations on the protection of personal data)
- informs educational consultants of primary schools, pupils and their parents about the possibilities of studying at our school,
- working in the Educational-Psychological Counselling Centre in Chomutov and other institutions throughout the region.
- checks the creation and implementation of Minimum Preventive School Program
- coordinates and participates in school activities focused on risk behaviour manifestations (truancy, bullying, addiction and other social pathological phenomena)
- collaborates on activities that are aimed at the involvement of multi-culturalism in the educational process (integration of foreign pupils, acceptance of cultural and ethnic differences, preventing racism and xenophobia)
- acquaint students and parents with opportunities to participate in school and extra-curricular activities,
- forwards awareness materials,
- leads the activities of teachers methodically in the area of prevention,
- provides seminars, lectures, visits, excursions in accordance with the Minimum Preventive School Program
- collaborates with counselling facilities, continuously updates the database of school collaborators for the prevention,
- contacts the relevant specialist department if a problem occurs (in the case of minor pupils,
- co-operates with legal representatives,
- maintains administration and written records of the activities, proposed and implemented measures (in accordance with regulations on the protection of personal data)
- involves school in projects aimed at preventing risky behaviour and presents the results of preventive work.
- sends pupils, parents and teachers the latest information in the field of career counselling (possibilities of post-secondary school for pupils, information on newly opened fields, conditions for admissions to universities and colleges, opportunities on the labour market in the region, etc.),
- provides methodological assistance in choosing post-secondary education or employment,
- provides career guidance services for pupils with special educational needs,
- helps with processing documents and materials (resumes, cover letters, filling in applications to study, preparation for a job interview to work, etc.),
- informs about other options for consulting services in the field of career counselling in the region, on the Internet, in journals, etc.
- provides discussions and lectures for students, or visit to some institutions (in collaboration with the Labour Office in Chomutov, Chomutov Town Council, etc.)
Before the introduction of good practice, in regard to solving the problems of education and training, career counselling and prevention have coped with the fragmentation of activities, lack of co-ordination and indispensability in functions. Teachers also lacked sufficient methodical support in solving problems. When introducing the measures, we were faced with the employees’ reluctance to accept changes and use the same approaches and procedures in dealing with similar cases. But it was also necessary due to the introduction of the ISO quality system into school. We have managed to stabilise these processes and the Counselling Centre is now included between the advisory bodies of the school management.
Openly solved problems are still alive and require daily care.
We have solved the same procedure and the same methodology for solving complex issues.
We have introduced the evaluation of problems in the field of educational counselling.
Information about the Centre: www.esoz.cz/radost
Good practice: (Measures, instruments, criteria, indicators)
The process of implementing good practice have mainly involved school management and staff entrusted with the methodical management of educational counselling, methods of prevention and career counselling. We have set up a unified methodology and consistent approaches in solving educational problems, we provide services in the area of prevention and career counselling to other pedagogical staff, pupils, parents and other clients. At the same time we emphasise the individual needs of clients and the co-ordination of procedures between the Centre's staff.
When introducing good practice we used external expertise, some of the steps were consulted with experts in educational and psychological counselling. The Centre's work is continually evaluated at management meetings of schools and educational meetings, yearly we process self-evaluation annual report of the Centre.
For the Centre's work, we created the appropriate background where there are negotiations with clients and it shows that the environment in which the negotiations are taking place, have a significant influence on its course and outcome.
Since this good practice has proven to be good, our experience was used in the implementation in other high schools, for example at the High Engineering School and High Vocational School in Chomutov. The Centre's work was appreciated by the representatives of foreign schools with which we co-operate with in the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci program (e.g. school representatives from Slovakia and Germany).
More information about the counselling centre can be found on the website www.esoz.cz/radost.
Problems and constraints encountered and solutions found:
The Counselling Centre was established on the basis of the decision of the school management and staff, whose common goal was to co-ordinate the processes and procedures in the field of educational counselling and solving educational problems, methods of prevention and career counselling.
The problems we had to overcome in the introduction stemmed from a lack of methodological support from advisory bodies outside the school and from a not entirely clear position (legally not clear until today) of the function of career counsellor. At school we had to find a suitable model of educational = career counsellor, including the provision of financial resources to support this function.
Right at the start of the activity the centre was included in the ISO system. In the beginning some employees had small problems with the use of the systems and procedures in this area and also the use of the correct forms.
Follow-up problems arose with the connection of the original High Energy and Construction School with the High Medical School and Business Academy. These schools hadn’t introduced the system of quality management and did not use a single procedure. Therefore, it was necessary to cancel the introduced, uncoordinated procedures at these schools and set up new procedures.
The general problem is when schooling and educational systems are characterised by considerable inertia, and any change requires a long time and good preparation. Even at our school it took a while before all the teachers became accustomed to the set procedures and competences of the school's counselling centre.