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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Education staff responsible for guidance in early childhood and school education


10.Management and other education staff

10.3Education staff responsible for guidance in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 March 2023

Advice may be obtained from the pupil’s teachers as well as what are known as counselling teachers (Beratungslehrkräfte), i.e. members of staff with extra training in educational science and psychology. Depending on the Land, counselling teachers are responsible for not only their own school but other schools too. In addition, counselling teachers with pedagogical or psychological training work at schools or at external counselling and support centres. Their tasks generally include not only general counselling for schools, teachers and students but also advice on the school career as well as individual counselling for pupils if learning difficulties arise or if there are any anomalies in their emotional and social behaviour.

The activities of the SCHOL PSYCHOLOGIST (Schulpsychologin/Schulpsychologe) include individual psychological support, support for school in crisis situations, prevention, supervision for teachers and school counselling in primary and secondary schools. In accordance with the regulations of the respective Land, applicants must either have successfully completed a higher education degree in psychology or have completed teacher training with at least one year of postgraduate studies in psychology and have worked in their profession for several years. After being employed in the so-called school psychological service or in an external school counselling centre, the school psychologist works outside the individual schools, usually in a counselling centre subordinate to the school supervisory authority. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, additional school psychologists work at selected priority schools and are permanently employed at these schools. In Bayern, school psychologists are always also teachers of one type of school and are therefore usually employed directly at a school and are responsible as the school's own staff for the school psychological counselling of their school and, if necessary, other schools. School psychologists are also responsible for networking extracurricular support and counselling services and for cooperating with youth welfare offices and child and youth welfare institutions. School psychologists are mostly civil servants of the Land (see also the chapter on guidance and counselling in early childhood and school education).

If their work is to be successful, counselling staff must work closely together with other institutions like the local youth welfare office (Jugendamt).

The local public health office (Gesundheitsamt) with its school health service is responsible for primary (and secondary) school health care. With a few exceptions, it is the Länder that enjoy administrative authority over the health services.

It is the job of the medical officer at the public health office to ensure that the work of the school health service, including dental care, meets the required standard. The work of school doctors is supervised by a public health officer (Amtsärztin/Amtsarzt). The school health service has the following responsibilities among others:

  • to carry out medical screening, notably of children starting and leaving school
  • to monitor those pupils whose state of health requires regular check-ups
  • to perform dental screening
  • to hold surgeries for parents, pupils and teachers
  • to advise and instruct teachers on health care issues

The staffing of the school health service at the local public health offices varies from one place to another, with differences between urban and rural areas as to the number of school doctors and their selection according to qualification.