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Guidance and Counselling

Guidance is a whole-school activity embracing all subject areas and support structures. The aims of guidance are to provide for the personal, social, educational and vocational development of students. Guidance personnel do this through educational guidance, career guidance and personal counselling. 

The Bish have two trained Guidance Counsellors; Mr. Barry McDermott and Ms. Emma Hammond. They are actively involved in the IGC (Institute of Guidance Counsellors) and upskill with regular CPD where available. They provide guidance, career guidance and personal counselling.

Both Guidance Counsellors offer individual consultations on an appointment basis.

Mr. McDermott can be reached by emailing

Ms. Emma Hammond can be contacted by emailing


Guidance Activities

The Guidance Counsellors organise Open Day visits to NUIG, GMIT, GTI and GRETB for 6th Year students. On occasion, with enough interest, visits to other colleges and/or universities can also be organised. Guest speakers are also organised for a series of talks on a variety of courses including Medicine, Science, Arts, Engineering and Commerce (among others). The Guidance Department also work with the Parents' Council in facilitiating a Careers Day for TY, 5th Year and 6th Year students annually. 

Junior Cycle Guidance classes are offered on a 6 week rotation under the Wellbeing Programme. These classes focus on organisation, study skills, management of self and career interests. 

Focused Guidance classes are also undertaken for 3rd Year students before subject choices for Senior Cycle are made. Students are welcome to make an appointment with one of the guidance counsellors before making their final decisions. A Parents Information Evening is also provided. 

5th Year Guidance classes also occur on a rotational basis where students have the opportunity to do interest assessment tests, career inventories and research for 3rd level, apprenticeships and post Leaving Certificate decision.

6th Year Guidance classes take place before Christmas in the run up to CAO applications. Classes cover the Points System, CAO applications, DARE and HEAR Schemes, Apprenticeships, Post Leaving Certificate Courses and Scholarships (among others). All 6th Year students are offered a one to one guidance appointment with one of the Guidance Counsellors. Further appointments are available on request. A Parents Information Evening is also provided. 

The Guidance Department encourage students to explore a range of websites including the following:

Central Applications Office (

QualifaX National Learners database


Generation Apprenticeship

Sports Scholarships Ireland – Providing Irelands Sports Scholarships Information – Colm Flynn


The Guidance Counsellors can provide short term counselling in a confidential setting to students. Referrals or consultations may be necessary from time to time. They may consult doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, social care workers and other professionals.

Counsellors provide a confidential service to students. However, students are informed that there may be occasions when confidentiality may need to be broken, i.e. when the
student or another person is considered to be at risk. Parents/guardians and appropriate personnel may need to be informed.


It is generally understood that conversations with the Guidance Counsellor are confidential.  Students should feel comfortable that conversations with the guidance counsellor are private and confidential and this confidentiality will be maintained except in the following circumstances:

a. Where a student is at risk or is considered to be putting themselves or others at risk

b. Where an illegal activity is going to take place

c. Where there are concerns regarding child protection.