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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: 27 November 2023

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. Joint projects, such as a common website ( were initiated. In September 2012, several public services and organisations providing various guidance and counselling services moved together into a new kind of counselling hub: the House of guidance (Maison de l’orientation)
  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, to search for the necessary information and to be in charge of their own decisions.

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

1. Centre for educational psychology and guidance (CePAS; Centre psycho-social et d’accompagnement scolaires), created (under its former name as CPOS) in 1987 and working under the authority of the ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE; ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse).

During its reorganisation in 2006, the Centre's missions have been defined as follows:

  • Coordinating and evaluating the implementation of guidance activities by the secondary schools’ Educational psychosocial and guidance service (SePAS) as determined by the Minister; regularly submitting a report on their functioning
  • Coordinating relations with external services and bodies which contribute to the information and guidance of pupils
  • Ensuring the support of children with psychological or learning difficulties that do not fall within the medical field
  • Participating in academic and vocational guidance of pupils enrolled in schools that have no educational psychosocial and guidance service
  • Raising awareness and informing the school community on relevant social evolutions
  • Developing methodologies and contents for guidance and information activities and  psychological support
  • Organising activities of continuing professional development for CePAS and SePAS staff members
  • Preparing information material and publications necessary to fulfil the above-mentioned missions
  • Participating, together with the principals of secondary schools, in the recruitment process of the services’ psycho-socio-educational staff

2. Educational psychosocial and guidance service (SePAS; Service psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires), established in each secondary school and placed under the administrative authority of the school's principal, whereas the Minister decides upon the general orientation and programme of their activities. The implementation of these activities is coordinated and evaluated by the CePAS, which acts as the SePASes’ functional authority. The service cooperates with the teachers and parents, in order to identify the needs and priorities for intervention.

Each SePAS is responsible for following tasks:

  • Ensuring psychological, personal and social guidance of pupils and developing activities in order to respond to their needs
  • Helping pupils in difficulty with school, psychological or family situations
  • Helping pupils with their education choices
  • Participating in class councils (conseils de classe) in order to ensure the monitoring of support activities
  • Assisting teachers for the support of pupils with educational difficulties or specific educational needs
  • Contributing to the organisation of support activities outside school lessons
  • Cooperating with the school’s medical service (service de la médecine scolaire)
  • Organising preventive actions
  • Cooperating with competent services and professional chambers in order to ensure vocational guidance
  • Contributing to the evaluation of teaching.

Academic guidance

Elementary education

Guidance procedure at the end of elementary education

At the end of the 4th cycle of elementary education, pupils are oriented towards the next grade of secondary education by means of a guidance decision (décision d’orientation), which is taken by a guidance council (conseil d’orientation). This council is composed of the head of the regional governing body (direction de région) of primary education, the class teacher, one teacher from academically-oriented and one from vocationally-oriented secondary education. With the parents' agreement, a school psychologist may be called in. Criteria taken into account are the following:

  • Learning achievements and the development of the pupils, according to the intermediary assessment reports (bilans intermédiaires) and the end-of cycle assessment reports (bilans de fin de cycle)
  • Opinion of the class teacher and the parents
  • Opinion of the psychologist
  • Pupil's results in the common nationwide tests (épreuves communes) which have been organised during the school year in order to assess the pupils' competences in relation to the national average and the skills levels required.

The guidance decisions allow pupils to continue their studies either in grade 7e of ESC academically-oriented secondary education, in grade 7e of ESG vocationally-oriented secondary education.

If parents disagree with the guidance decision, they may register their children for an entry examination into a more demanding class. These exams test the pupils' competences in German, French and mathematics according to the admission requirements of their target type of education.

Preparing guidance decisions

Guidance decisions are prepared together with pupils and parents.

  • From the beginning of elementary education onwards, teachers propose activities that should contribute to the pupils’ self awareness and their decision-making skills: for example, pupils can collect their productions in a portfolio, which helps them think over their own learning processes, their strengths and their weaknesses
  • In the 2nd year of the fourth cycle, the decision is prepared by three meetings between parents and class teacher which are held at the end of each three-month term
  • Moreover, the new type of assessment reports, which has been introduced by the 2009 reform of elementary education, contributes to the pupils’ and parents’ understanding of the competence development, the strengths and weaknesses of each child.

Secondary education

Towards a specialisation in higher secondary education

At the beginning of higher general secondary education, the fourth comprehensive grade (4e polyvalente) aims at consolidating the knowledge acquired and at guiding the pupils towards one of seven specialisation cycles. Initiation courses in chemistry, physics and economy are aimed at supporting pupils with their decisions. At the end of this grade, the class council, together with the school’s SePAS, gives a written non-compulsory recommendation for the choice of specialisation, which is based on the basis of all the information they dispose of.

The guidance procedure at the end of lower technical secondary education is discussed here below under point 3 Career guidance.

Preparing educational decisions of pupils in secondary education

Throughout secondary education, learners 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:

  • The secondary schools (lycées) themselves
  • The Educational psychosocial and guidance centre (CePAS; Centre psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires)
  • The Educational psychosocial and guidance service (SePAS; Service psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires)
  • The Documentation and information centre on Higher Education (CEDIES; Centre de Documentation et d'Information sur l'Enseignement Supérieur) (see article 12.6).

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

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

Psychological counselling

Psychological support for pupils is provided by:

  • Multi-professional teams (équipes multiprofessonnelles): the multi-professional teams of the Service for special education (Service d'éducation différenciée) propose individual support to pupils with special educational needs who are integrated in mainstream education, as well as for teachers and parents of children facing psychological, pedagogical or educational problems. Composed of experts with various specialisations (psychomotors, psychologists, educators, etc.), these teams provide mobile ('ambulant') support at regional level, mainly for elementary school pupils
  • The Educational psychosocial and guidance centre (CePAS; Centre psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires): besides guidance activities, the Centre proposes different types of help and support, such as psychological consultations, therapies or social support, mainly to teenagers
  • The Educational psychosocial and guidance service (SePAS; Service psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires): established at each lycée, the SePAS provides individual support to the school's students who face problems of any kind in the course of their academic career. SePAS services are also engaged in preventive action against early school leaving
  • The Service for early detection and intervention (SDIP; Service de détection et d'intervention précoce): this service was created in 2008 by the ministry of Education and the hospital of Kirchberg, as a department of this hospital, offering individual support to young people with psychiatric problems.

Career guidance

Guidance procedure at the end of lower secondary education

At the end of lower secondary education, the class council provides a guidance recommendation (avis d’orientation) to each student. This recommendation specifies the educational programmes (voies de formation) that a pupil may access and those recommended by the class council on the basis of the pupil’s strengths and interests.

Minimum requirements for the different programmes and their individual sections are defined by the legislation.

Preparing career decisions and facilitating labour market access

Preparing career decisions in schools:

  • Entrepreneurship education (both in ESC and ESC): 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 Educational psychosocial and guidance centre (CePAS; Centre psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires)
  • The school's Educational psychosocial and guidance service (SePAS; Service psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires)
  • 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, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy
  • 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.

Career guidance activities may involve:

  • Developing and issuing information material and publications on different professions (ADEM/OP, CePAS)
  • Collecting and providing information in a documentation center (ADEM/OP-BiZ; Beruffsinformatiouns-Zentrum)
  • Establishing websites and keeping them up to date (
  • Organising events with potential employers, such as the Girls' Day-Boys' Day
  • Proposing information sessions for pupils and parents, at class or school level (SePAS)
  • Organising discussions with employers or graduates of certain professional programmes (SePAS, teachers)
  • Realising pedagogical projects at class or school level (such as school projects [projets d’établissement] or psycho-educational workshops, e.g. the project Stop & Go for early school leavers)
  • Establishing tutoring programmes (some secondary schools)
  • Organising internships or visits of different types of employers (schools, SePAS, ALJ)
  • Implementing the approach of Education for choices (Éducation des choix) at school level, under the guidance of the CePAS (some secondary schools)
  • Proposing individual support, psychological testing and establishing  competence profiles (CePAS, SePAS, ALJ)
  • Individual consultations (SePAS, CePAS, ALJ, ADEM/OP, professional chambers).