Student support teams: perceptions of the nature, scope and function in post-primary education

Lucy Hearne, Joanne O'Flaherty, Eileen O'Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, the personal, social and emotional development of
students has become a priority area in post primary education. This
has been further accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using a case study design, this naturalistic study set out to
explore perceptions of the function of a Student Support Team
(SST), and its role in the provision of a whole school guidance
programme in one post-primary school. Semi-structured
interviews were completed with members of the SST (n = 6).
Findings from this particular case study school suggest that the
SST plays an integral role in the whole school guidance
programme. However, the delivery of this programme in postprimary education requires a high level of commitment from
senior management and a greater understanding from the wider
school community. The findings also highlight the need for a
more structured approach to the formation and implementation
of SSTs within the school. The paper considers some of the
implications for policy and practice in the post-primary sector.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalIrish Educational Studies
Publication statusPublished - 02 Jul 2022


  • Student support team (SST); students’ personal, social and emotional development; whole school guidance programme; post-primary education


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