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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: 5 March 2024

In-school counselling

Advising pupils on their education is primarily the responsibility of each school. Advice is normally given to the pupils and their parents, by the teachers and/or headteachers.

For young persons who are unable to move directly to the upper secondary level at the end of lower secondary level, so-called bridging options - such as the Optional 10th School Year  - are available as transitional solutions which also serve to help students with their choice of career after the end of compulsory schooling.

Psychological counselling

The School Psychological Service is an assessment and counseling body for pupils, parents and teachers. Among its tasks are helping with important decisions on schooling (admission to primary school, integration, special schooling, retaking years, allocation to or assessment of special schooling measures, transfer to secondary schools, skipping a year) as well as crisis management and assessment of a proposed integration of a child with a disability into regular schooling.

School social work service

As an internal service, the school social work service is available at no cost to pupils, teachers and parents. It acts as a counselling option in the event of social problems both in and out of school. The service is present in schools at fixed times and is thus within easy reach.

At the end of the school year 20022/23, the social work services were extended to all municipal schools and are now permanently installed at all municipal schools and secondary schools in the country. They are an integral part of the school staff.

Vocational counselling / careers advice

Help for pupils in their choice of direction and career is part of the curriculum. The subject of careers is something that teachers will integrate into their lessons and there is also the option of specific counselling meetings in cooperation with the Office of Vocational Training and Career Guidance (ABB). Coaching sessions for students are given on site by professional careers advisors. In addition, in the year 8, all pupils of the Oberschule and Realschule, plus all Gymnasium pupils who achieve a mark of less than 4.3, have a compulsory meeting to consider their current position and future prospects.