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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: 29 March 2024
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Guidance and counselling in Luxembourg is provided as part of schools' autonomous activities, as well as by external services and activities.

There are two major trends in Luxembourg's guidance and counselling policy:

  1. Cooperation of different institutions and services is reinforced. A Coordination committee (comité de coordination) for several guidance services was created in 2006. In September 2012, several public services and organisations providing various guidance and counselling services moved together into a one-stop shop: the Maison de l’orientation (House of guidance)
    Since 2019 each secondary school has an appointed guidance coordinator whose role it is to coordinate the guidance unit and its work.
  2. Development of pupils’ decision-making and career management skills. Rather than relying exclusively on 'external' guidance, pupils should be able to recognise their personal strengths and weaknesses, in order to search for the necessary information and to be in charge of their own decisions. A socio-educational department, bringing together all the student support and assistance services, was created in each secondary school at the beginning of the 2023/2024 academic year.

The following guidance providers play a major role in all types of guidance and counselling:

Guidance at national level

House of guidance (Maison de l'orientation)

The House of guidance is a state administration officially created by the law passed in the Parliament in 2017. The administration brings together several public actors active in the field of educational and vocational guidance under one roof. The House of guidance is accessible to all citizens seeking advice on educational and vocational guidance in order to help them identify their skills, abilities, and interests, and to make informed decisions regarding their choice of studies, training as well as professional projects. 

This law provides a legal basis for a Guidance Forum gathering all political stakeholders, social partners and institutions concerned by guidance matters and whose mission is to advise and coordinate the services offered by the House of guidance and its partners.

A multi-partner space made up of five thematic counters is open to the public, free of charge and as often as needed at any stage of their studies, training or career:

  • school career
  • higher education
  • youth information
  • training and careers
  • adult education.

Through its single point of contact, the House of guidance brings together several public authorities and services in charge of assisting people in shaping their career paths:

Services working under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE):

Coordination Service of the House of guidance (Service de coordination de la Maison de l’orientation - SCMO)

The Coordination service of the House of guidance carries out and coordinates the conceptual work for school and career guidance and ensures its implementation in the school community. 

It also ensures the efficient running of the single point of contact at the House of guidance which is made up of five thematic counters (school career, training and careers, higher education, youth information, adult education) through which the House of guidance welcomes, informs and advises people in need of support during their guidance process.

A national reference framework for educational and vocational guidance defines the minimal standards to be respected by secondary schools during the implementation of their educational and vocational career counselling and related activities. The framework also ensures a base to structure, guide and evaluate all the actions and initiatives taken in the counselling process. The main goal is to provide the best possible guidance to students, especially in transition.

In order to encourage networking between the guidance units and the share of best practices, the SCMO organises regular meetings between the coordinators of the different secondary schools’ guidance units and discussion days (journées de réflexion) for teachers and guidance counsellors.

The SCMO offers a range of continuing education courses for guidance practitioners, as well as information materials and tools such as websites ( or and brochures. 

The SCMO also organises information sessions and activities for the public. 
Moreover, the SCMO also represents the House of guidance at various national and international events.

Agency for the transition to independent living (Agence pour la transition vers une vie autonome - ATVA)

The Agency for the transition to independent living (ATVA) is part of a network of eight Competence centers working to promote inclusive education. ATVA's educational and psycho-social team members facilitate, on a voluntary basis, the transition to an active life for young people with specific needs confirmed by a diagnosis carried out by a specialised Competence centre.

ATVA offers advice and information on the transition to an active and independent life, returning to school, further training and qualification opportunities, adapted vocational training, further training and also raises awareness of inclusion in the labour market.

Psychosocial and Scholastic Assistance Centre (Centre psycho-social et d’accompagnement scolaires - CePAS)

In terms of guidance, the department's missions include the following:

  • development of reference frameworks for psycho-social support for pupils, non-formal education and extra-curricular activities, as well as pupil participation
  • draw up an annual report on psycho-social support for pupils, non-formal education and extra-curricular activities, as well as on pupil participation, based on data provided by the secondary schools
  • contribute to the development of ministerial guidelines on well-being, mental health, non-formal education, extra-curricular provision and pupil participation
  • contribute to the initial and ongoing training of educational and psycho-social staff and teachers.

The CePAS Youth and Family Counselling Centre offers young people, parents and guardians psychological and therapeutic counselling, parental guidance and socio-educational support tailored to their needs, on an occasional or regular basis. The centre takes care of pupils who require a range of psycho-social support and guidance, while also offering group activities for young people to improve their social skills.

Adult education (Service de la Formation des Adultes - SFA)

Three types of training are offered and coordinated by the Adult education service: the 2nd qualification pathway, which gives access to recognised diplomas and training courses; training to improve literacy and calculation skills and general and civic education for adults.

School Integration and Welcoming Service (Service de l’intégration et de l’accueil scolaires - SIA)

The School Integration and Welcoming Service welcomes families who have recently arrived in Luxembourg. It offers information and counselling for the pupils and their parents on all questions related to the Luxembourgish school offers and non-formal education and also provides individual monitoring.
As a resource service, the SIA supports schools, secondary schools and competence centres in their task of integrating newly arrived pupils, and provides a national network of professionals involved in welcoming and integrating them into schools.

National Youth Service (Antennes locales pour jeunes (ALJ) Luxembourg du Service national de la jeunesse (SNJ)

The Antennes locales pour jeunes (ALJ) are part of the Service national de la jeunesse (SNJ) and their mission is to support young people in their transition from school to work. They are spread over 11 sites across the country, in order to be close to young people and their realities. The staff specialise in supporting young people and implementing programmes to help them re-enter the labour market.

Their work is aimed at young people who are still at school, but who are about to leave without any concrete solution, as well as those who have left the school system without a diploma.

The ALJ offers young people advice and information on training opportunities and working life, individual support to help them integrate into education or working life, and alternatives to inactivity.

The Voluntary service of the National Youth Service (Service national de la jeunesse, SNJ) allows young people under the age of 30 to become active in the context of a specific project of general interest. It is an opportunity for them to learn and decide on their orientation while gaining practical experience during a fixed-term full-time activity. The minimum duration is 3 months while the maximum duration may, in principle, not exceed 12 months. For some programmes, activities take place in Luxembourg, for others in Europe or even outside Europe.

Departments of the Ministry of Research and Higher Education (MESR):

Higher Education Information Service (Service information études supérieures - mengstudien)

The Higher Education Information Service provides answers to all questions related to higher education studies in Luxembourg and abroad, including entry requirements and enrolment procedures, as well as fields of study and training pathways.

Departments of the Ministry of Labour:

Career Guidance Service, ADEM-OP (Service d’orientation professionnelle de I’Agence pour le développement de l’emploi (ADEM-OP) - Région Centre)

The career guidance service is for young people and adults, its mission is to support and assist individuals in their personal development and choice of professional career. The department is responsible for initial and adult apprenticeship placements (Labour Code, article 622-15/1).
ADEM-OP helps students choose the right career by offering guidance counselling and information sessions. In addition, ADEM-OP manages a documentation centre that provides information on different professions and jobs. 

Other stakeholders

Euroguidance: The Euroguidance Network is a network of national resource and information centres from thirty European countries.  Its aim is to support the development of the European dimension of education and vocation guidance and to connect the careers guidance systems in Europe. In addition, the Euroguidance network also aims to raise awareness on the value of international mobility in the field of careers guidance. The network helps guidance counsellors and European citizens to make use of the opportunities available to them within the European Union. These missions are coordinated by the House of guidance.

Professional chambers: Several guidance activities are organised by the guidance services in cooperation with the professional chambers. In addition, apprenticeship advisers from the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts and the Chamber of Commerce provide information on vocational training and support companies and apprentices in their on-the-job training.

Jonk Entrepreneuren: the non-profit association 'Jonk Entrepreneuren' brings together representatives of schools and the business world. It was created to perpetuate and stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit in the Luxembourgish education system.

Guidance providers in secondary schools

Since the start of the 2023/2024 academic year, each secondary school has its own educational and psycho-social department. The department is made up of the following services:

Guidance unit

The guidance unit is responsible for implementing the educational and vocational guidance strategy in line with the national reference framework.

The service sets up activities for all pupils to help them learn to make decisions and plan their career path, so that they can succeed in their school careers, learn about the world of work and find out about education and training. It also supports pupils' integration into school.

In order to ensure that the guidance work is of high quality, the reference framework outlines the following standards:

  • the objectives of educational and vocational guidance
  • the measures to be taken in order to achieve these objectives
  • specialised services or external parties called upon to provide information about the socio-economic world
  • the involvement of members of the school community in the guidance strategy.

The reference framework for educational and vocational guidance is drawn up by the Coordination Department of the House of guidance in collaboration with the stakeholders of the House of guidance and the Department for the Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l’Innovation Pédagogiques et Technologiques - SCRIPT) and is adopted by the Minister. 

By its nature, educational and vocational guidance is directly linked to other transversal challenges faced by secondary schools (dropping out, inclusion of newly arrived students or students with special needs, digitalisation, and media literacy and education for sustainable development). The guidance unit also integrates those challenges into its functions within the scope of its area of responsibility. It cooperates closely with the school’s specialised services where necessary. Some of these challenges offer potential ways to add to the guidance work with the students. 

Psychosocial and Scholastic Assistance Service (SePAS; Service psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires)

The educational psychosocial and guidance service (SePAS) cooperates with the teachers and parents, in order to identify the needs and priorities for intervention. Each SePAS is responsible for following tasks:

  • inform pupils about the available offers
  • ensure psychological, personal and social guidance of pupils and developing activities in order to respond to their needs
  • help pupils in difficulty with school, psychological issues or family situations
  • provide support for pupils at risk of dropping out of school, by promoting their personal resources, which are conducive to learning and academic success
  • support and help improve the socio-economic living conditions of pupils' families, so that they are conducive to success at school, and to assist pupils in applying for school grants
  • organise preventive actions
    • prevention, aimed at developing pupils'socio-emotional skills with a view to promoting good mental health 
    • prevention, aimed at reducing the dangers associated with social media 
    • promoting risk management and reducing addictions
    • promoting positive emotional and sexual health 
    • promoting non-violent communication to reduce violence and harassment
  • perform various tasks for well-being of pupils. 

The SePAS staff members at secondary schools are psychologists, social workers, teachers and graduate educators.
As a partner of the House of guidance, it also takes part in drawing up recommendations and carrying out school and career information and guidance initiatives.

Social pedagogic service (Service socio-éducatif -SSE)

The socio-educational service offers non-formal education activities in collaboration with youth organisations, youth work organisations and youth services.
These activities take place during or outside school hours.

Support teams for pupils with special educational needs (Équipe de soutien des élèves à besoins éducatifs spécifiques – ESEB)

Each secondary school has a support team for pupils with special educational needs (équipe de soutien des élèves à besoins éducatifs spécifiques, ESEB). The ESEB members support pupils to enhance their well-being, autonomy, personal development and participation in school life. They advise parents and teachers and may themselves provide ambulatory support to pupils with special educational needs. At the request of the inclusion commission (commission d'inclusion, CI), they can, within four weeks (during school time), make a diagnosis that provides information on the needs of the pupil and the measures to be implemented whilst taking the parents’ and teachers’ input into account. 

Academic guidance

In the education system, there are specific stages at which pupils are guided. At primary school, an initial decision is made at the end of the final year of cycle 4 between classical secondary education and general secondary education. In secondary schools, pupils are encouraged to choose their specialisation considering their results and interests. The school guidance and integration unit, in coordination with the school community, advises pupils and parents on this choice.

Elementary education

Guidance procedure at the end of elementary education

The orientation procedure from elementary to secondary education starts as of the first year of cycle 4. Parents are involved in the decision-making process. The class teacher submits them a first prognosis as well as exhaustive information on the available classical, general secondary education and international education options. At the end of cycle 4, parents and the class teacher express a joint decision concerning the guidance. 

The final guidance decision is taken jointly during the meeting between the pupils’ parents and the class teacher. The guidance decision is based on: 

  • the work of the pupil during cycle 4 showing his/her skills, fields of interests and aspirations
  • the results of the assessment of the skills acquired by the pupil
  • the results obtained at the épreuves communes organised at the national level by the Ministry. They provide information about the pupil’s performance compared to the national average and about the development of the pupil’s skills against the expected competence levels at the end of this cycle
  • the information collected by the psychologist, if the parents have opted for the latter’s intervention.

The guidance decision entitles the student to admission to one of the following classes:

  • a class of classical secondary education (7C)
  • a class of general secondary education (7G)
  • a class in the preparatory section of general secondary education
  • an international class. 

In case of disagreement between the parents and the class teacher a guidance commission meets in order to find a solution. 

Preparing guidance decisions

Guidance decisions are prepared together with pupils and parents, starting in the first year of cycle 4. Parents are involved in the decision-making process. The pupil's class teacher provides them with an initial prognosis and full information on what is offered in secondary education. At the end of cycle 4, the parents and the class teacher reach a joint decision on the direction the child should take.

Secondary education

In secondary schools, pupils will choose a specialisation based on their results and interests. 

The various types of learning practices differ among the educational levels and classes. Classical secondary education and general secondary education last seven years. Classes of 7e, 6e and 5e are called « lower classes». Classes of 4e, 3e, 2e and 1re are called « higher classes ». 

Secondary schools provide support for their pupils at the level of their education and professional orientation.

Every secondary school implements a school development plan, in which it defines, among others, a guidance strategy adapted to its school population. The goal is to help pupils make choices that match their profile and ensure the best chances of success. The guidance strategy is one of the seven secondary school strategies involved in school development. It aims at:

  • providing information about the school system and training pathways, including the higher education options, both in Luxembourg and abroad
  • familiarising pupils with the socio-economic world, particularly the job market
  • developing the skills that will enable pupils to make decisions about the training pathways available and to establish a personal educational project. 

The guidance strategy is also an essential part of the secondary school’s identity, which is shared and experienced within the school community. The actions of the entire school community are documented in the guidance strategy and in compliance with this reference framework.

The strategy consists of an action plan that meets the minimum standards defined by this framework and that each school establishes for itself. 

Preparing educational decisions of pupils in secondary education

Throughout secondary education, pupils are supported by a range of guidance, counselling and information services. These activities may be organised at school level, at regional or national level or specifically for certain domains of studies. Some of these activities are jointly organised by several services and bodies.

The main services and bodies involved in learners' academic guidance are:

  • Secondary schools, through their guidance unit
  • The House of guidance
  • Psychosocial and Scholastic Assistance Centre (CePAS)

  • Psychosocial and Scholastic Assistance Service (SePAS)

  • The Higher Education Information Service (see article 12.6)
  • Career Guidance Service, ADEM-OP

Activities supporting guidance and developing the pupil’s decision-making skills involve:

  • Developing and issuing information material and publications (ADEM/OP)
  • Collecting and providing information in a documentation centre 
  • Establishing websites and keeping them up to date (
  • Organising events, such as the annual national Student fair (Foire de l’étudiant) (the higher Education Information Service in cooperation with the other services); national youth, education and profession fair (YEP Schoulfoire)
  • Proposing information sessions to students and parents, at class or school level (guidance units in secondary school)
  • Organising discussions with alumni of different study programmes (guidance units in secondary school)
  • Realising pedagogical projects at class or school level (such as school projects [projets d’établissement] or psycho-educational workshops)
  • Establishing tutoring programmes (some guidance units in secondary schools)
  • Implementing the approach of the Education for choices (éducation des choix) at school level (some guidance units in secondary schools)
  • Proposing individual support or psychological testing and establishing competence profiles (CePAS, SePAS)
  • Individual consultations (guidance units in secondary school, Higher Education Information Service).

Career guidance

Guidance procedure at the end of lower secondary education

Preparing career decisions and facilitating labour market access

Preparing career decisions in schools:

  • Entrepreneurship education: the non-profit association 'Jonk Entrepreneuren' brings together representatives of schools and the business world. It was created to perpetuate and stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit in the Luxembourgish education system
  • Assessment reports (lower secondary education): the assessment reports which were introduced together with the competence-based approach in lower secondary education, aim at fostering students’ awareness of their own competences and development (see articles 6.3 and 6.6)
  • Internships (in ESG, technical secondary education): In grade 5e (third grade of ESG and last  of lower secondary education), pupils have to undertake an internship with an employer of their choice, with a view to getting to know the reality of the job market
  • Secondary school reform: the reform of secondary schools has foreseen other measures aimed at helping pupils to take academic and career decisions: in the two first years of lower secondary education, pupils will be accompanied by a personal tutor. They are encouraged to think over their own competences, interests and objectives right from the beginning of secondary education and onwards. All pedagogical staff in contact with a pupil are involved in the guidance process.

Other activities

Other career guidance activities are organised by:

  • The secondary schools themselves (due to lycées' autonomy management, the number, frequency and type of activities may vary)
  • The House of guidance (Maison de l'orientation)
  • The Service for vocational guidance of the Agency for the Development of Employment (ADEM/OP; Service de l’orientation professionnelle de l’Agence pour le développement de l’emploi) of the Ministry of Labour
  • The employers’ and employees’ chambers (chambres professionnelles)
  • The Local Youth Action (ALJ; Action Locale pour Jeunes), which is mainly concerned with early school leavers, but provides support to pupils at risk of dropping out.