TORONTO - A new report says Ontario elementary school guidance programs are understaffed.

The report by the parent group People for Education says only 14 per cent of Ontario's elementary schools have at least one guidance counsellor.

It says that's despite the fact the provincial government has stressed the importance of counsellors.

In 2013, the province outlined policy changes that said schools should use guidance counsellors to combine career and life planning programs for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.

The report also says the role of guidance counsellors has shifted to become more multifaceted and critical to student well being, focusing more on things like social-emotional development and mental health.

The report's findings are based on an annual survey of 1,175 responses from elementary and secondary school principals.