Public kindergartens and schools must form counselling services employing professional counsellors. School counsellors are
- pedagogues and social workers
- social pedagogues, and
- SEN teachers.
Larger kindergartens and schools may have more counsellors on staff, but the smaller ones must have at least one if only for reduced work hours. For example in a basic school with 20 classes there is 1 counsellor on staff, in a school with a larger or smaller number of classes in a proportion but not less than 0.25 full time equivalents.
The school counsellors perform three related and often entwined types of activities:
- development and prevention,
- and planning and evaluation.
The school counsellors do the pedagogical, psychological, and/or social counselling work. They provide support to children, pupils, students, teachers, parents, and kindergarten or school management. They work together with all stakeholders in everyday life and duties in the scope of learning and teaching (in kindergartens, playing and teaching), of the education institution's culture, education, overall climate and order, physical, personal and social development of children, pupils and students, training and vocational orientation (transition), and in the scope of socio-economic differences. They plan and apply individual support programmes for children with special needs.
The counselling staff shall hold at least a higher education degree (equivalent to a second cycle degree) in psychology, pedagogy, social pedagogy or social work, special and rehabilitation pedagogy, family social work, social inclusion and equity in cases of disabilities, ethnic and gender affiliation, mental health within a society, supervision, personal and organisation counselling, and inclusive pedagogy.