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Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

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Overview Poland

Contents

Poland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Poland:Historical Development

Poland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Poland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Poland:Political and Economic Situation

Poland:Organisation and Governance

Poland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Poland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Poland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Poland:Organisation of Private Education

Poland:National Qualifications Framework

Poland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Poland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Poland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Poland:Funding in Education

Poland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Poland:Higher Education Funding

Poland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Poland:Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Primary Education

Poland:Organisation of Primary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Poland:Assessment in Primary Education

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Poland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Higher Education

Poland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Poland:First Cycle Programmes

Poland:Bachelor

Poland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Poland:Second Cycle Programmes

Poland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Poland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Poland:Adult Education and Training

Poland:Distribution of Responsibilities

Poland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Poland:Main Providers

Poland:Main Types of Provision

Poland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Poland:Teachers and Education Staff

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Management and Other Education Staff

Poland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Poland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Quality Assurance

Poland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Educational Support and Guidance

Poland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Poland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Poland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Poland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Mobility in Higher Education

Poland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Poland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Poland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:National Reforms in School Education

Poland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Poland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Poland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Poland:European Perspective

Poland:Legislation

Poland:Institutions

Poland:Glossary

Academic guidance

The assessment of children’s and young people’s developmental needs is one of the basic tasks of teachers and specialists working with them.

In nursery schools, schools and other educational institutions, teachers, class teachers and specialists conduct in particular:

  • in nursery schools: pedagogical observation ending with an analysis and assessment of children’s readiness for school (pre-school diagnosis);
  • in schools: pedagogical observation during ongoing work with pupils/students which is aimed at identifying:
  • their special talents,
  • their learning difficulties and – in the case of pupils in Grades 1-3 of the primary school – the risk of specific learning difficulties.

Where it is found that a child needs special educational support in view of his/her difficulties or special talents, the nursery school, alternative preschool education setting, school or the institution initiates measures to meet these needs. This is an area where an educational institution provides educational and psychological support.

Counselling and guidance offered to children and young people are a form of such support.

Psychological and educational support is also offered to pupils’/students’ parents and teachers in the form of counselling or guidance sessions, workshops and training sessions.

Support offered to parents and teachers aims to:

  • assist them in solving educational and learning problems;
  • develop their educational skills to increase the effectiveness of counselling and guidance offered to pupils/students.

Counselling sessions, workshops and training sessions are conducted by teachers, class teachers and specialists.

Specialists providing counselling and guidance in nursery schools, schools and other educational institutions include in particular:

  • psychologists,
  • pedagogues,
  • speech therapists,
  • career advisors, and
  • educational therapists.

The tasks of specialists employed in nursery schools, schools and other educational institutions consist in:

  • conducting diagnostic examinations and assessments of children and young people;
  • providing psychological and pedagogical support in forms suited to the needs that have been identified in this field and cooperating with teachers and other specialists in the field;
  • carrying out preventive and information activities;
  • assisting parents and teachers in identifying children’s needs and supporting their development.

Counselling and guidance is also offered by institutions specialised in this field – counselling and guidance centres, including specialised centres, which can be:

  • public or
  • non-public.

Specialist centres focus on selected and specific problems, in line with the needs of the local community.

According to the Educational Information System (SIO), as at 30 September 2015, there were 949 counselling and guidance centres, including 44 specialised centres.


Type of centre
Public
Non-public
Total
Counselling and guidance centres
561
340
901
Specialised centres
19
29
48
Total
580
369
949

The administration of public counselling and guidance centres is a task of districts (powiat; the local government level above communes). Each district has at least one public counselling and guidance centre offering free-of-charge services.

The managing body of a centre determines its catchment area.

Counselling and guidance centres offer services to:

  • children from birth,
  • young people,
  • parents,
  • teachers,
  • nursery schools, schools and other educational institutions.

(Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 1 February 2013 on the detailed operational rules for public counselling and guidance centres and other public specialised services: Journal of Law, item 199).

The tasks of a counselling and guidance centre include:

  • assessing children and young people;
  • issuing statements/certificates and opinions on their education;
  • providing direct assistance to pupils/students and parents;
  • problem prevention activities and tasks supporting the educational function of nursery schools, schools and institutions, including support offered to teachers in solving educational and teaching-related problems;
  • support provided to nursery schools, schools and institutions.

When counselling and guidance offered in nursery schools, schools or institutions does not bring expected results or when it is necessary to assess whether a child needs more forms of support other than psychological and educational support because of his/her educational needs, it is advisable to perform a specialist assessment in a counselling and guidance centre. Support is offered by counselling and guidance centres on a voluntary basis.

Such centres perform assessments, provide information or give opinions on the results of such assessments at the request of a parent or an adult learner. Statements/certificates issued by the centres are provided to the educational institution attended by the pupil/student concerned only at the request of the parent or the adult learner.

Children are primarily assessed in order to determine their individual developmental and educational needs and individual psychological and physical abilities, to explain the mechanisms governing their behaviour in relation to the problem reported and to indicate the way in which the problem could be solved.

An assessment of children’s needs helps to identify the course of action in the field of their education and development support.

In particular, assessments result in:

  • issuing an opinion, including:
    • statements/opinions recommending individualised early support for development; these are the only statements issued by assessment committees in public counselling and guidance centres or assessment committees in non-public centres,
    • statements confirming specific learning difficulties,
    • statements deferring a child’s entry into compulsory education,
    • statements recommending earlier entry into primary education,
    • statements granting permission to follow an individualised study programme or learning path,
    • statements recommending compulsory one-year preparatory classes to be attended outside a nursery school, preschool class or alternative preschool education setting,
    • statements concerning a child’s full-time or part-time compulsory education outside school settings,
    • statements on exempting a child from studying a second language,
    • statements recommending the inclusion of a child in therapeutic classes,
    • statements concerning the adjustment of educational requirements based on curricula to a pupil’s/student’s individual educational needs,
    • statements recommending priority in admitting a student with health problems to an upper-secondary school,
    • statements on permission to employ a juvenile for the purpose of training for a particular job or of vocational training,
    • statements confirming the absence of contraindications to the performance of work or other paid work by a child,
    • statements concerning other issues relating to the education of children and young people (e.g.: for doctors or courts);
  • issuing a statement/certificate recommending:
    • special education,
    • rehabilitation classes,
    • individualised one-year preschool preparatory classes,
    • individualised teaching for children and young people;
  • direct psychological and educational support offered by a centre to children, parents or both children and parents;
  • support provided to teachers and specialists working with a child in the educational institution attended by the child.

Statements / certificates are issued by assessment committees based in counselling and guidance centres, including public specialised centres.

Statements / certificates are issued at parents’ request. Parents may participate in a session of an assessment committee and present their position. Statements / certificates are issued to applicants only. A statement / certificate can be appealed against within 14 days to the head of the regional education authorities via the team issuing it. (Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 18 September 2008 on statements and opinions given by opinion-giving committees at public counselling and guidance centres: Journal of Law No. 173, item 1072)

Statements / certificates may be revoked or amended at parents’ request.

Non-public counselling and guidance centres are authorised to issue statements / certificates in cases where the regulations do not require that they should be issued by public centres. To be authorised to issue a statement / certificate confirming specific learning difficulties, deferring a child’s entry into compulsory education or recommending earlier entry into primary education, non-public counselling and guidance centres, established under Art. 82 of the School Education Act, should employ staff with qualifications required of staff in public counselling and guidance centres. Non-public centres meeting the above requirement may establish assessment committees issuing statements / certificates recommending individualised early support for children’s development.

Direct assistance offered to children and young people as well as to their parents by counselling and guidance centres includes in particular:

  • therapy provided to children, young people and their families;
  • support offered to children and young people in need of counselling and guidance or assistance in choosing an area of study and occupation and in planning education and career;
  • assistance to parents in the assessment of their children’s and young people’s developmental and educational needs as well as their psychological and physical abilities and in solving educational problems.

In particular, such centres carry out their preventive tasks and those supporting the educational function of nursery schools, schools and institutions by providing support to teachers, class teachers and specialists in:

  • the assessment of children’s and young people’s developmental and educational needs, including the identification of risk of specific learning difficulties for pupils in Grades 1-3 of the primary school;
  • providing counselling and guidance;
  • developing and implementing individual educational and therapeutic programmes and individual rehabilitation classes;
  • solving teaching and education-related problems.

Such centres also offer support to nursery schools, schools and institutions by way of:

  • implementing measures to prevent addictions and other problems of children and young people;
  • educating children, young people, parents and teachers on mental health protection;
  • providing support in cooperation with in-service teacher training institutions.

At a written request of the head of a nursery school, school or institution, or of disabled children’s parents, public centres are obliged to cooperate in defining conditions indispensable for learning, specialist equipment and teaching resources, including ICT.

The following institutions are also required to collaborate with mainstream schools in identifying and resolving educational problems of pupils/students in special education who attend these schools:

  • special schooling-and-care centres: with regard to work with disabled pupils/students;
  • youth education centres: with regard to work with socially maladjusted pupils/students;
  • youth social therapy centres: with regard to work with pupils/students at risk of social maladjustment.

Psychological counselling

The school education system provides psychological counselling, which focusses on solving learning and educational problems and on developing educational skills, to children, young people, parents and teachers in nursery schools, schools and institutions attended by children and young people, as well as in counselling and guidance centres.

The tasks of psychologists in nursery schools, schools and other educational institutions include in particular:

  • conducting pupils’/students’ examinations and assessments, including the assessment of their individual developmental and educational needs as well as their psychological and physical abilities in order to determine the causes of educational failure and support pupils’/students’ strengths;
  • identifying educational problems in nursery schools, schools or institutions in order to solve them and support pupils’/students’ development;
  • providing psychological and pedagogical support in forms suited to the needs that have been identified;
  • implementing measures relating to the prevention of addictions and other problems of children and young people;
  • minimising the results of developmental disorders, preventing behavioural disorders and initiating various forms of help in pupils’ school and out-of-school environment;
  • initiating and conducting mediation and intervention in crisis situations;
  • providing assistance to parents and teachers focussing on the assessment and development of pupils’/students’ individual abilities, predispositions and talents;
  • helping teachers, class teachers and other specialists with providing psychological and educational support.

Nursery schools, schools or institutions are not required to employ psychologists. The head of an institution, who is responsible for providing psychological and educational support, acting in consultation with the managing body, makes a decision to employ a psychologist depending on the needs that have been identified in this area.

Psychological counselling is also provided in counselling and guidance centres.

Psychological counselling offered by these centres is provided in various forms adapted to the needs of pupils/students:

  • counselling and guidance for children, young people, parents and teachers;
  • individual or group therapy for children or young people;
  • family therapy;
  • support groups;
  • mediation;
  • crisis intervention;
  • workshops;
  • lectures and presentations;
  • information and training.

Education and career guidance

Lower and upper secondary schools are required to lay down in their statutes organisational arrangements for their internal guidance systems and education guidance classes, and for cooperation with counselling and guidance centres and other institutions providing guidance and specialist services to children and parents.

The statutes of post-secondary schools also define the organisation of additional after-school activities for students to boost their employability. Where such activities are organised, this is done in consultation with the managing body of a given post-secondary school and in cooperation with labour offices, employers, continuing education centres, practical training centres and in-service training centres.

Lower and upper secondary schools, including post-secondary schools, provide courses focussing on the choice of career and area of study and on education and career planning. They use active methods of work to support pupils or students in making education and career choices.

Such classes are conducted by teachers, class teachers and specialists, in particular career advisors.

The tasks of school career advisors include in particular:

  • regular assessment of students’ demand for career and education information and assistance in making career and education choices;
  • collecting, updating and sharing information relating to education and career adapted to an individual level of education;
  • providing courses related to the choice of a training area and career, and to education and career planning;
  • coordinating information and guidance provided by a school or institution;
  • cooperating with other teachers in providing career and education guidance and ensuring its continuity;
  • helping teachers, class teachers and other specialists with providing psychological and educational support.

Where there is no career advisor in a school or institution, the head of the school or institution appoints a teacher, class teacher or a specialist to plan and implement education and career guidance tasks.

Individual educational and therapeutic programmes developed for disabled or socially maladjusted students or those at risk of social maladjustment who receive special education in lower or upper secondary schools should determine the type of education and career guidance activities and the way in which they will be implemented.

In the case of students with special educational needs, in particular students who are disabled or of ill health, it is particularly important to take account of possible limitations related to their health when planning educational paths and choice of career. If lower secondary school students have health problems and their choice of a training area is limited as confirmed in the relevant statement / certificate issued by a counselling and guidance centre, they may apply for priority admission to upper secondary schools at the second stage of the recruitment procedure.

This means that they will be given priority in the case of equal scoring obtained at the first stage of recruitment which takes into consideration the results of lower secondary school examinations; marks and special achievements listed on the lower secondary school leaving certificate; completing lower secondary schools with distinction; and the results of aptitude tests (if administered).

Education and career guidance provided by schools is supported by public counselling and guidance centres, including specialised centres.

They support children and young people who require guidance in relation to education and career choices and their planning, e.g.: in the form of workshops, counselling and guidance sessions, lectures and presentations.

Public counselling and guidance centres support schools, teachers and specialists in planning and implementing education and career counselling and guidance tasks. Centres provide support in the form of:

  • workshops,
  • counselling and guidance sessions,
  • participation in meetings between teachers and specialists, and meetings of the school’s teaching council,
  • cooperation and self-study networks for teachers, class teachers and specialists to enable them to exchange information and experiences.

These centres also offer information and training in education and career guidance to students, parents and teachers.

Within the school education system, the Centre for Education Development (CED) provides support to career guidance staff.

CED is a national-level and public in-service teacher training institution. It is supervised by the Minister of National Education.

The following career guidance tasks implemented by CED should be highlighted:

  • assessment of training needs of career advisors, teachers and other staff working in educational institutions in the area of career guidance;
  • in-service training for career guidance staff in the education system;
  • supporting public in-service teacher training institutions, counselling and guidance centres, including specialised centres, pedagogical libraries and teachers-methodical advisors in the area of career guidance;
  • development and publication of information and methodological materials, and promotion of innovative activity, including publications;
  • creation of databases and educational resources as well as dissemination of pedagogical information in the area of career guidance;
  • cooperation with domestic and international partners in improving the quality and promoting career guidance.