The school counselling service aims to support and complement existing Academic, Pastoral care, Resource and Career guidance structures and is available to pupils and parents should the need arise.
The school counsellor is concerned with the emotional development of the child and the promotion of positive mental health.
When children face issues such as anxiety, bullying, loss, bereavement or depression there may be a marked deterioration in their attitude and behaviour at home and also at school. Teenagers don’t always have the emotional maturity or expertise to deal with these issues effectively alone.
Counselling provision, often at short notice, offers the child a dedicated time to share concerns and work towards coping strategies designed to find a way forward.
The counsellor liaises with parents, staff and relevant outside agencies able to aoffer more specialised help when necessary e.g. Clinical psychologist, child and adolescent mental health services and social care services.
Referral for counselling support for pupils maybe made through the school principal, teaching staff, parents and by pupils own self-referral. Drop-in session are also available without prior appointment if urgent.
Pupils are welcome to visit the counsellor in her designated room and a drop-in system is available for brief periods during the day when she is on-site.
Support may be short-term, medium or long term depending on the individual need.
Confidentiality is maintained at all times unless the safety of the child is at risk and in exceptional circumstances the counsellor may need to share information with the principal and deputy principal. The counsellor would always let the pupil know in advance and work with the student in handling the situation in a way that respects them, their feelings and their need.
The counselling service is properly supervised, regularly reviewed and evaluated.