Student Services

School Guidance and Counselling

Guidance and counselling services promote the personal/social, educational, and career development of all students. School plans across Manitoba include comprehensive and developmental guidance services as an integral component to student success.

School counsellors are educators who work together with other teachers and professionals to increase opportunities for success in the lives of all learners. Education, guidance, and counselling is available to all students through various methods such as direct instruction, guidance education, team teaching, group and individual counselling, and student support team planning.

School counsellors, like all school staff, have a set of professional responsibilities that define the scope of their practice and address the needs of:

  • Students
  • Parents/guardians
  • Colleagues and professional associates
  • School and community

Working with Students

The school counsellor's first professional responsibility is to the students. The personal/social, educational, and career development needs of all students, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, are the focus in planning and delivering a comprehensive and developmental guidance and counselling program. Because the primary goal of school counselling services is to enhance and promote student learning, concepts are integrated into curricular learning outcomes.

The diverse needs of students may require specific counselling expertise, and school counsellors recognize their boundaries of competencies by providing only those services for which they are qualified by training or experience. When students require specialized, intensive, or long-term counselling beyond what the school may reasonably be expected to provide, appropriate referrals to outside resources are made.

Working with Parents/Guardians

Parents/guardians fulfill a primary role in the lives of their children. Collaboration between the school counsellor and parent is key to student success. Although family counselling is not provided, parents are encouraged to work together with the school counsellor in the best interest of the student. The open sharing of guidance education activities with parents is separate from the confidential nature of a counselling relationship. Working with students to keep parents appropriately informed without breaching confidentiality is an important responsibility. School counsellors bridge communication with parents at every opportunity.

Working with Colleagues and Professional Associates

Guidance and counselling services are part of a broader delivery system designed to enhance the success of all learners. The school counsellor establishes and maintains an ongoing professional and collaborative relationship with school staff, clinicians, and other service providers who work with students both in and out of the school. Colleagues and professional associates are consulted and provided with information related to the educational success and well-being of students who are also in their care. The coordination of these services are in the best interest of the student, with information shared adhering to appropriate guidelines for confidentiality.

School counsellors must work within the limits of the law, within the policies and procedures of school divisions and schools, as well as within the ethical requirements of any association to which they may be members.

Working with the School and Community

A school counsellor recognizes that life’s situations interact with and influence one another. For instance, by addressing a student’s social/emotional needs through counselling, the school counsellor simultaneously teaches resiliency skills and affects the student’s readiness for educational challenges. As a result of such interrelationships, the school counsellor supports the integration of guidance and counselling services to address school and community needs.

The school counsellor develops a comprehensive and developmental guidance and counselling program with their school team to meet the needs for the specific school population. This process includes identifying needs, implementing and monitoring programs, and adjusting plans based on the developmental needs of students. Regular evaluation of the plan and its implementation are important to ensure the school and community are being served.

Manitoba Sourcebook for School Guidance and Counselling Services: A Comprehensive and Developmental Approach
Manitoba Sourcebook for School Guidance and Counselling Services: A Comprehensive and Developmental Approach The purpose of this document is to support school counsellors in the important work they do in Manitoba schools. Specific information related to scope of activities, areas of service delivery, comprehensive and developmental guidance-related specific learning outcomes, and curriculum connections are provided. Professional development workshops for educators are available to support this resource.

Manitoba Sourcebook: Guidance Education: Connections to Compulsory Curriculum Areas Kindergarten to Grade 12
Manitoba Sourcebook: Guidance Education: Connections to Compulsory Curriculum Areas Kindergarten to Grade 12 Specific learning outcome connections within Manitoba curricula are clustered for early, middle and senior years in the areas of personal/social, educational and career development components. Educators will find outcomes in the areas of safety, social-emotional learning, conflict resolution and decision making skills from English Language Arts, Social Studies and Physical Education/Health curricula.

Professional Learning Opportunities

Workshops are available upon request from Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning on a variety of topics related to guidance and counselling services. Sample topics include:

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Comprehensive and Developmental School Guidance and Counselling Services:
    An Overview
  • Note-taking, Information Sharing and Record Keeping for School Counsellors
  • Safe and Caring Schools
  • Towards Inclusion: Supporting Positive Behaviour in the Classroom

Important Information

Professional Associations

Legislation, Standards, Policies


General Enquiries
Inclusion Support Branch
Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning
Toll Free in Manitoba: 1-800-282-8069, ext. 7912