Counselling Services in School

So what does a contact... counsellor do?

"School-based interventions offer great potential for addressing the emotional well-being of children and young people, often without more specialist intervention. Such interventions can empower individuals to take control over aspects of their life by helping them to make decisions."

The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) advise that it is not good practice for counsellors to hold a dual role in schools (for example, as a teacher and counsellor) because of the difficulty of remaining independent. Counsellors do not give advice. They seek to view the problems brought to them by young people from the young person's perspectives. By providing time, confidentiality and a safe place they can help young people to talk about their worries and any problems that are affecting them and to identify ways to cope.

The Role and Responsibilities of the Counsellor within Schools

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) defines the role and responsibilities of school-based counsellors as follows:

  • to offer pupils, individual or group counselling
  • to liaise with the pastoral management staff, special needs co-ordinators, year tutors; class teachers, governors, parents and LEA support agencies
  • to provide information on the counselling service, the role of the counsellor and a clear understanding of the contract of confidentiality with young people
  • to review and evaluate the service
  • to attend supervision with a suitably qualified supervisor
  • to devise and where appropriate deliver a programme of training to support and develop the counselling service
  • to provide consultation to staff whose role is to support pupils in emotional distress
  • to support 'peer support schemes' (where appropriate) and other means of counselling values and listening skills.