Counselling is available to students who want someone to listen to them and support them through difficulties or changes they are facing, whether at school or at home. Students can ask for counselling themselves, or it may be requested by parents, carers or staff on behalf of a student.
There may be a short waiting time if demand is high. Usually counselling will be offered weekly for a period of several weeks rather than as long-term support.
Our counsellor always checks whether the young person wishes to attend counselling and they are encouraged to talk to their families about this. Where a child is not yet considered ‘Gillick Competent’ we need your permission as well as the young person’s agreement about counselling support. Being Gillick Competent means that a young person has the capacity to understand and make their own decisions, including the consequences of those decisions.
Our school counsellor is accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and works to their ethical guidelines. This means that young people are offered confidentiality; unless there is a need to involve others, when their permission will be asked. This is normally if there is a risk of significant harm to them or to someone else, and if so the usual school procedures for safeguarding and child protection will be followed.
Our counsellor makes brief notes as a reminder of the content of sessions with young people. They are stored securely away from other student files. The school is required to keep these until the child reaches age 25 then they will be destroyed. Notes may be seen upon request in writing and only with the permission of the young person.