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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in early childhood and school education


12.Educational Support and Guidance

12.4Guidance and counselling in early childhood and school education

Last update: 10 October 2022

Academic guidance

Teachers undertake the academic guidance of students.  Their work also includes teaching, educating and schooling their students.
The coordinators of educational work are in charge of the scientific and educational guidance of teachers per region. They co-operate with school heads and school teachers' boards.
At all levels of school education, the main issues of concern for the school teachers' board is among other things:

  • The academic progress of students
  • The guidance of students
  • Learning difficulties.

In the context of students’ guidance and support, the following, among others, were enacted by law 4823/2021:

  • School Networks of Educational Support and Interdisciplinary Support Committees for school units in general and vocational education, with the main purpose of promoting cooperation, coordinating the work of schools and strengthening them in responding to their students’ educational needs
  • Collaborations with third parties
  • Operation of educational clubs - Heads of educational clubs
  • Pedagogical meetings, which are related to issues of students’ education and progress, organization of the teaching of school subjects, implementation and evaluation of the curricula
  • In-school coordinators, in order to support and coordinate teachers in groups according to teaching specialisation or in groups of teaching classes, curriculum planning, the organization of sample teaching and the exchange of good professional practices, the introduction of innovative educational teaching tools and the scheduling of students’ assessment procedures
  • Pedagogical mentor within the school unit
  • In-school training
  • Designation of teachers responsible for school classes and student communities.

Guidance in pre-school education

In pre-school education (nipiagogeio), the teacher’s role is decisive. The teacher intervenes and facilitates the learning procedure.  At this level, there is no standard pathway toward learning.  Emphasis is given on:

  1. Processes of acquiring knowledge within creative learning conditions
  2. Development of communication skills
  3. Promotion of individual accountability through group work, research and critical thinking
  4. Promotion of the development of self-esteem and co-operation skills, an understanding of the value of team work and shared discovery.

The teaching environment fosters reflection, experimentation, concept-building approaches and attractive activities.  Pre-primary school gives the possibility to identify and tackle potential special educational needs.  Meanwhile, it also considers:

  • The characteristics of each student
  • Differences in the way and progress of learning
  • Personal skills
  • Learning opportunities within the social and family environment.

Guidance in primary school

In primary school (dimotiko), the teacher contributes towards:

  • The building of key concepts and principles
  • Development of positive attitudes toward lifelong learning
  • Co-operation
  • Individual accountability.

Evaluation offers valuable feedback in the whole education process. It helps to identify learning deficiencies and assists students’ progress.

Guidance in secondary education

In lower secondary school (gymnasio) and upper secondary school (lykeio), education is based on the studying of autonomous subject modules through a cross-thematic approach.  In this way, students follow the holistic approach to knowledge.  They learn things through suitable interconnections.
Teachers apply modern and apt teaching methods based on:

  • Students' needs
  • The specificities of each subject.

Guidance in special education

The aim of the reforms in education seen in the last few years is to improve the quality of education provided to all students, including students with disabilities and special educational needs by giving priority to inclusive policies and practices.
Inclusive education (law 4547/2018) is the educational approach which takes into account the needs of heterogeneity in the student population and intends to lift learning obstacles and assure equal access to educational goods for all, including disabled students.
Recommendations for the enrolment, classification and attendance of students in the appropriate school framework are performed by KEDASYs.  According to law 4547/2018, the objective of KEDASYs is to support school units and Special Workshop Centres of the area of their competency so as to assure equal access to education of all students and to endorse their harmonious psychosocial development and progress.
KEDASYs active domain is to look into educational and psychosocial needs, to perform evaluations, to plan and implement educational and psychosocial interventions, as well as actions of vocational guidance, to support the entire work of school units or Workshop Centres, to conduct continuous information towards professional development and to raise social awareness.
Guidance is also provided through the Coordinators of Educational Work of the support structures of Regional Educational Planning Centers (PEKES).

Psychological counselling

Within the school, the psychological counselling of students depends on the teachers who must support all students’ progress via offering a comprehensive type of education. In several school units, students’ psychological support is provided through psychologists available within the municipality to which the school belongs or through the psychologists of EDYs or KEDASYs depending on the educational structure and need.
Law 4692/2020 introduces the institution of the School Life Advisor in secondary education schools. The School Life Advisor intervenes, guides and informs students, parents and guardians on issues of pedagogical treatment in areas that concern the school unit. They carry out their duties and operate in addition to the support offered by the existing school support institutions. The School Life Advisor is in direct and constant communication with their students. They act whenever asked to do so, but also on their own initiative, if they realize a situation that needs special treatment. In the context of carrying out their job, they cooperate with the support structures and may request their assistance.

Collective planning, internal and external evaluation of school units in terms of their educational work

Ministerial decision 6603 /ΓΔ4/2021 establishes the institution of internal and external evaluation of school units serving the primary aim of the continuous improvement of the quality of the educational work provided at school level and consequently in the whole educational system.

The individual objectives of school self-evaluation are defined, among others, as follows:

  • the mobilization of all actors in the educational community for the development of actions that seek the balanced and round students’development,
  • the development of collaborative teaching and learning practices,
  • enhancing self-awareness and supporting teachers' professional development,
  • building an evaluation culture within the school community.

The whole school community is involved in the evaluation process in order to identify all the strengths, weaknesses and needs associated with the work provided by the school unit. This process constitutes the basis for the planning of the educational work, as well as for the planning and implementation of actions that will contribute to the improvement of the quality of the three basic functions of school units:

  • The pedagogical and learning function,
  • The administrative function, and
  • Their functions as a professional learning community that promotes teachers’ professional development.

The first of the three functions includes sub-thematic axes which aim at the enhancement of students' attendance and their smooth integration in their school unit. The following are indicative:

  • Prevention and handling of school violence and bullying,
  • Attendance - school dropout,
  • Teaching, learning and evaluation
  • Unified inclusive education
  • Relationships between students and teachers

The main body of the planning process and the internal evaluation is the school unit itself, while the internal evaluation of the work takes place at the end of each school year, during a special meeting of the teachers' board.

Implementation of internal operation regulations in the school units of primary and secondary education

he implementation of an internal operation regulation in primary and secondary education schools is described in law 4692/2020 which provides for the issuance of a standard regulation of operation in the school units.

  1. From the school year 2020-2021 onwards, each school unit of Primary and Secondary Education must have an approved Internal Operation Regulation which addresses issues related to its operation, according to the Ministerial Decision 13423/ΓΔ4.
  2. The term "Internal Operation School Regulation" encompasses all the terms and conditions that are prerequisites, in order for the mission of the School to be carried out smoothly, methodically and effectively. In addition, the Internal Operation School Regulation constitutes an important pedagogical tool that helps in the smooth school life, in the cooperation, in the solidarity, in the democratic dialogue and in the acceptance of the difference.
  3. The Content of the Internal Operation School Regulation and its central axes: a) Arriving - staying at school and leaving the premises, b) Students’ Behaviour - Pedagogical control, c) Prevention of violence and school bullying, d) School events - Activities, e) School - Family - Parents/ Guardians Boards cooperation and f) Quality of the school place.

In addition, the Institute of Educational Policy on its website, has posted Indicative Internal Operation Regulations for pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education.

Psychologists and social workers

According to ministerial decision 142628/ΓΔ4/2017, the members of the special education staff belonging to the specialisation PΕ23 Psychologists and the specialisation PE30 Social Workers may exercise duties in specific general education and vocational education school units, which are defined in accordance with the current provisions, provided there is a particular need for supporting vulnerable social groups or the implementation of psychosocial and emotional support programmes for students is deemed necessary.

Officers for health education/school activities

The main support for school units, teachers and students on health education issues are the officers for health education and school activities, who belong to the Primary and Secondary Education Diectorates.
More generally, the implementation of health education programmes contribute to the promotion of mental and physical health, as well as students' social and emotional well-being.
Officers for health education/school activities support the health education programmes implemented in the school units of their respective Primary/Secondary Education Directorates.  Within their responsibilities, and among other things, they visit school units and attend school classes and also supervise the progress of school programmes.  Moreover, they encourage and support students in the process of discovering knowledge through research, data analysis-synthesis and the experiential approach.

Action: "A new start for EPAL"

The Action "A New Start for EPAL" aims to support students in a smooth transition from lower secondary to vocational education and upgrade the quality of education provided to upper secondary vocational schools.  Among the key actions of the programme are:

  • The staffing of EPALs with psychologists with the purpose to support socially and psychologically students and the building of networks of schools with supporting structures for social and psychological health.
  • To reactivate and promote the institution of the teacher as advisor and the students' council so as to bridge communication between students and the school teachers' board, to tackle conflicts and improve the climate of the school community and to detect problems which inhibit the learning progress.

Diagnostic, evaluative and supportive bodies

The main diagnostic body is KEDASY. Their mission is to support the school units and the Workshop Centres in their area of responsibility to ensure equal access to education for all students without any discriminations and to protect their harmonious psychosocial development and progress.
In order to fulfil their mission, KEDASYs are active in the areas of research of educational and psychosocial needs, assessments, design and implementation of educational and psychosocial interventions, as well as vocational guidance activities, support of the overall work of school units or Workshop Centres, carrying out updates and trainings and raising the awareness of the community as a whole.
Also, by decision of the Regional Director of Education, School Networks for Educational Support are established, consisting of primary and secondary school units and Workshop Centres of general and vocational education, special education and training, with the aim of strengthening and promoting cooperation, as well as the coordination of the work of the school units and Workshop Centres, so as to ensure equal access to education for all students without any discriminations, and the promotion of their overall mental health.  The same decision defines one (1) special education school unit that functions as the support centre of each School Network for Educational Support.
According to law 3699/2008, as amended by law 4547/2018 and law 4823/2021, the special educational needs of disabled students are examined and determined by tby the Centres for Interdisciplinary Assessment, Counseling and Support (KEDASYs) (former KESYs), the Committees of Interdisciplinary Support (EDYs) and the Community Centres for the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents of other Ministries which are certified by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
KEDASYs as competent bodies of educational direction, act on the level of:

  • Exploring and evaluating educational and psychosocial needs
  • Focused educational and psychosocial interventions and actions of vocational guidance
  • Supporting school work in total
  • Informing and training
  • Raising social awareness.

EDYs have the following competences:

  1.  To evaluate the difficulties and possible educational or psychological and/or social obstacles in learning faced by students and refer them to KEDASYs, when after the application of a short support programme inside school, it is judged that an evaluation-diagnosis is still necessary.
  2. To support teachers of school units in issues like pedagogical response to the heterogeneity of the student population.
  3. To form programmes of early intervention in cooperation with KEDASYs or the competent municipal bodies and organise informative/educational seminars for parents.
  4. To specify the basic lines of the personalised educational programmes into short-term and long-term targets, as determined by the competent KEDASY and monitor its implementation together with class teachers.
  5. To support the educational community in issues of equal access to education and the confrontation of early school leaving and school violence.
  6. To work together with KEDASYs for issues of mutual competences.
  7. To co-ordinate and follow up actions of social support of students, in co-operation with social services in municipalities and other public services of the area in which they offer medical or psychological support, and in co-operation with the competent judicial authorities when there is clear evidence of issues of mental health, child abuse or parental neglect.

Career guidance

The implementation of programmes of career guidance is the competence of the Centres for Interdisciplinary Assessment, Counseling and Support (KEDASYs) (former KESYs).
KEDASYs provide services related to vocational guidance to:

  • Students, as well as to their parents or guardians.
  1. This is carried out on a team level with planning and implementation of career guidance programmes inside school units and workshops, the provision of information on issues related to the labour market, the study programmes of upper secondary and tertiary education and the paths leading to HE.  Information also includes actions for raising awareness and the smooth transition to adulthood and the labour market
  2. On individual level, counselling relates to career guidance and forming and developing, in the best possible way, of a personal and professional identity for students of grades B and C of upper secondary education.  Counselling also helps students in finding ways to relate decision-making with elements of their personality.
  • Teachers, by providing services related to raising awareness and support on issues of career guidance.

Law 4823/2021, among other things, regulates issues related to the upgrading of the institution of School Career Guidance, which is structured in two axes: the administrative re-organization as well as the functional and educational restructuring.

In this context, there has been provision for the creation of a distinct post of the Head of Career Guidance Officer in each Directorate of Secondary Education so that, horizontally among the Heads of Career Guidance that serve in the Directorates and the Heads of Career Guidance who staff Counseling and Guidance Offices (GRΑSΥP) (law 4547/2018) communication and cooperation is developed in order to effectively address the current needs of the students in Counseling and Career Guidance services.

Based on the Circular Directive Φ11/12216/Δ7-04-02-2022 and following the calls of expression of interest that followed from the respective Directorates of Secondary Education, the posts of School Career Guidance Officers were filled in the Directorates of Secondary Education for the current year including the placement and provision of service of the new Heads.

In vocational education, the curriculum of grade A of day vocational upper secondary school includes the subject "School Career Guidance – Security & Health in the workplace".  The subject aims to supply students with the necessary information, knowledge and skills that will allow their gradual integration in:

  • A dynamically changing labour market
  • An active social life.

The ministerial decision Φ9/90217/Δ4/2021 foresees in the timetable instruction time in the first grade of pilot EPAL schools the teaching of specific subjects with a "Vocational direction of an orientation character".

In particular, the following subjects are taught:

  • Economy, Administration
  • Construction, Production and Industry
  • Arts and Culture
  • Health and Well-being
  • Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Energy, Transport and Communications.

In special education, the subject of School Career Guidance is taught in:

  1. All grades of lower secondary school of the single special vocational lower and upper secondary school
  2. Grade B of the upper secondary school of the single special vocational lower and upper secondary school.

Internet portals

Through the Internet interactive port of the National Organisation for Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP) "Teens Gate", lower and upper secondary students are able to:

  • Choose careers that match their interests
  • Watch videos on the world job market
  • Take career guidance tests
  • Prepare a file with their individual skills (e-portfolio).

The educational portal of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs can be used by teachers in order to draw information on:

  • Approved educational/actions (bodies, organisations, services, HEIs, NGOs, scientific associations, municipalities, ministries, hospitals, museums, etc.)
  • Approved training material
  • Student competitions
  • Activities
  • Innovative actions.

Especially for the education of students with disabilities and/or special education needs, both in general education school units and is special education structures available educational resources and abundant material have been gathered and made available in the digital portal "prosvasimo", adapted to the different types of disability and educational needs as well as in the digital gate

New Technologies and the Internet have created new associations in Schools’ relationship with the Media. Following the international developments and the European Strategy for Education for Sustainability with the utilization of Digital and Audiovisual Media in Education, the Ministry promotes media literacy at all levels of education and provides tools for the better understanding and utilization of digital and audiovisual environments.

In addition, as part of the initiatives to strengthen the educational community through e-learning, in response to the conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs produced videotaped lessons for primary education. The video lessons "Learning at Home" and "Learning Safe" are available "on demand" on the website  in order to be used in the educational process even after their screening.

There is also the youth creation platform that can be accessed on
Using digital tools, digital communities and social networks, the Educational Radio-Television connects with the young audience by moving from traditional media into the digital age.
The youth creation platform offers an environment for collaborating, sharing ideas and implementing digital learning creations: videos, interactive educational games, blogs, social networking services and Web 2.0 applications in general.  These projects are developed and submitted through video contests, campaigns and partnerships with schools, universities and other organisations, at national, local or international level.

Also, the platform  highlights the educational activities for the promotion of Media Literacy in the modern school (international and pan-Hellenic competitions in collaboration with Universities and other organizations, nationally or internationally). The student digital and audio-visual works of art that are created in the framework of international and pan-Hellenic competitions are also shown on the Educational Television programme broadcasted via the channel  of the Parliament-Television, and are also collected at the Panhellenic Repository of Students’ Creations for Primary and Secondary education: .

In Vocational Education through the NOESIS platform, various projects can be submitted and implemented, which promote innovation and creativity and are indicatively linked to science, technology, culture and entrepreneurship. Such projects, as one of the Pillars of the Action "A New Start for the EPAL" aim at the development of personality, social and other skills, and the cooperation between students and teachers. It is a method of group teaching in which everyone participates decisively. It evolves depending on the current situation and the participants’ interests. Learning derives from the experience that members gain from their active participation in the process. The aim is to enrich the educational process in Vocational Education, to increase its prestige and attractiveness, to reconstruct prejudice and extroversion.

Also, within the framework of the Action "A New Start for the EPAL", the networking of the EPAL school units was encouraged on a nationwide level, and communication links were developed between school units in order to exchange experiences for the implementation of the projects. Gradually, the communication links gained special dynamics and led to wider interdisciplinary collaborations with common goals, and as a  result the school network developed into a community. Typical examples of cooperation are the joint organization of a student logo competition and the joint organization of a report- reflection day.