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New guidance published to help the development of much needed counselling services in school settings

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has released guidance to help head teachers develop counselling services aiming to provide a clear outline of the key components expected of school-based counselling provision, whatever the funding stream available or mode of service delivery offered.

A spokesperson for the BACP said “ The guidance includes a number of key considerations ensuring the development of safe and effective school-based counselling services, including keeping up to date with best practice and legal obligations, an understanding of the relevant qualifications and experience required of counselling professionals working with children and young people.

It also provides a comprehensive overview, aligned to the professional identity of the school-based counselling workforce, of how to deliver the highest quality counselling services to children and young people in a range of school settings. It also acts as a reference point for educational professionals seeking to employ or contract counselling services as well as for counselling professionals working in those services.”

The guide is published on the back of recent research indicating that around 20% of children have asked their parents for access to a counsellor in schools with findings also showing that almost nine in ten parents believe mental health counselling should be freely available in schools.

The guide states “With the right investment in place, school-based counselling is a timely, accessible and effective intervention with waiting times for counselling support considerably lower than referring to services offered outside of school.”

School-based counselling – the essential guide for school leaders, mental health leads and commissioners can be found here

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Published on 14th July 2023