The Education Review Office (ERO) is an independent government department that reviews the performance of New Zealand’s schools and early childhood services, and reports publicly on what it finds.

The whakataukī of ERO demonstrates the importance we place on the educational achievement of our children and young people:

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa

The Child – the Heart of the Matter

In our daily work we have the privilege of going into early childhood services and schools, giving us a current picture of what is happening throughout the country. We collate and analyse this information so that it can be used to benefit the education sector and, therefore, the children in our education system. ERO’s reports contribute sound information for work undertaken to support the Government’s policies.

This report is part of ERO’s contribution to the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project. The report documents the findings of the second phase of a two-part evaluation that focused on guidance and counselling in schools. The evaluation recognises the influence guidance and counselling can have on promoting positive mental health outcomes for the children of New Zealand. It also highlights the need for a coordinated response across the education, health and social sectors.

As evident in this report, there is a growing demand for guidance and counselling in schools and the issues are increasingly complex. This report includes a number of recommendations for the Ministry of Education and schools to help them address some of the challenges and ensure that effective guidance and counselling services are in place.

Successful delivery in education relies on many people and organisations across the community working together for the benefit of children and young people. We trust the information in ERO’s evaluations will help them in their work.

Rob McIntosh Chief Review Officer (Acting)

Education Review Office

December 2013