With the increasing focus on improving mental health services for young people, the Department for Education (DfE) has updated its departmental advice for counselling in schools. NGA previously reported on the findings of a report by NAHT and Place2Be (a children’s mental health charity) regarding access to in-school mental health services. This found that 64% of respondents found that pupils did not have access to a school-based counsellor.
Whilst in-school counselling services are not legally required, governing boards are responsible for pupil wellbeing, including their mental wellbeing, and providing such services is one way of fulfilling this responsibility. Further, the advice document makes clear that the government expects to see all schools providing access to counselling services for their pupils and includes a dedicated section on ‘Counselling in practice’. There are also updates to further resources schools can use to improve or establish their services.
Catherine Roche, CEO at Place2Be previously wrote an article in Governing Matters about governing boards’ responsibility for promoting mental health and outlines some of the key benefits felt by schools.