School Counselling Team

We provide education settings with a School Counselling Team which works within, and is overseen by, our specialist mental health professionals.

What is school counselling and how can it help children and young people?

School counselling provides children and young people with opportunities to discuss and address concerns and worries. School counselling provides a safe space within a school and includes education staff in the strategies used to support an individual in overcoming their difficulties or concerns.

Which EHP professionals are in the School Counselling Team?

Our School Counselling Team is made up of:

  • Qualified counsellors
  • Qualified play therapists
  • Trainee / Assistant counsellors

Our School Counselling Team is overseen and supervised by our team of qualified psychologists and mental health professionals, including social workers and primary mental health workers. Being part of the wider EHP team our School Counselling Team receive clinical supervision in addition to professional guidance.

We're registered

EHP is registered with all major professional memberships.

What services do our School Counselling Team offer?

Our School Counselling Team offer two services. The first is our school-commissioned counsellor service. Our second is our school counselling supervision service.

School-commissioned counsellors improve social, emotional and mental health by providing counselling services to children and young people within education settings whilst receiving supervision from our specialist psychologists. Our school counselling supervision services make existing counselling provision more effective.

School-based counselling is one of the most prevalent forms of psychological therapy for young people in the UK....Evidence shows that school staff, children and young people evaluating the service, are positive about school-based counselling, viewing it as an effective way of bringing about improvements in mental health and well-being, and helping children and young people to engage with studying and learning. It is an accessible service, increasing the range of options available to children and young people who need to talk to a professional about problems in their lives.

Mental health and behaviour in schools

What does the School Counselling Team do?

The School Counselling Team improves emotional wellbeing and mental health through focused assessments and interventions. Our School Counselling Team prevent the escalation of social, emotional and mental health difficulties through:

  • Encouraging the child or young person to express their voice
  • Empowering children and young people to maximise their potential and reach meaningful goals
  • Exploring the difficulties of children and young people
  • Increasing children and young people's understanding and ability to address their difficulties
  • Promoting strategies to cope with change
  • Supporting the development of personal strategies needed to manage problems
  • Increasing resilience

Our counsellors offer assessments and preventative interventions to children and young people within a non-judgemental atmosphere. It is possible for our team to work with children and young people in parallel support alongside interventions within CAMHS, in addition to providing step down support following a discharge from CAMHS.

What are the most common issues children or young people talk about during school counselling sessions?

Children and young people may be referred by a member of staff to our School Counselling Team for a specific area of concern, however this may not be the subject discussed during sessions. The most common issues children and young people talk about during school counselling sessions are:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Family issues
  • Anger
  • Bullying
  • Bereavement
  • Stress
  • Having looked after status
  • Having adopted status
  • Low self-worth and self-esteem
  • Problematic relationships
  • Identity (gender, sexual, cultural)
  • Self-harm
  • Academic pressure
  • Abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Disability or long-term illness
  • Traumatic events
  • Transitions
  • Isolation
  • Phobias

Counselling sessions are confidential by nature with the exception of information relating to safeguarding concerns. Specific issues discussed may not be shared with education professionals, although support strategies can be shared without breaking confidentiality.

Who we work with

Our specialist services can be accessed by education, health and other professions working with children and young people.

Who refers to the school counselling services?

Counselling is most effective when the child or young person wants to attend sessions. In the event that an individual does not want to take part in counselling then they should be able to make this decision for themselves, and other avenues of support can be discussed with the school counsellor. Our School Counselling Team accept the following:

  • Self-referrals
  • Referrals from teachers
  • Referrals from SENCOs
  • Referrals from Inclusion managers
  • Referrals from a member of the Pastoral Team
  • Referrals from parents and carers

A specific referral process within the education setting will be discussed and agreed prior to implementing a school counselling service.

When would it be appropriate to refer a child or young person to our School Counselling Team?

When there are concerns regarding a child or young person's mental health then swift action should be taken to promote positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. Our School Counselling Team works with all levels of need. Education staff know the children and young people they support which means that they are in a strong position to recognise the warning signs and risk factors of poor mental health, including:

  • An unexpected drop in work quality and/or a decrease in attention levels in the classroom
  • An individual becoming subdued
  • An individual becoming over excited
  • Sudden changes in behaviour
  • School refusal
  • Low attendance
  • Bullying others
  • Being bullied
  • A suspicion that a child or young person has been, or is being, neglected, abused physically, emotionally or sexually
  • Experiencing a significant bereavement or loss
  • Displaying low self-esteem
  • Self-harming
  • The misuse of drugs or alcohol

A school counselling service works within an education setting, and a successful service requires a mutual understanding of expectations between counsellors and education staff. Education settings may decide that specific individuals are 'accelerated' through to the counsellor, others may implement an internal intervention prior to referral, our School Counselling Team will accept all referrals.

Do children and young people need parental consent to access School Counselling Team services?

As a general rule, any individual younger than 16 would require parental consent to access our school counselling services. There may be specific circumstances when a young person, who is younger than 16, accesses our services without parental consent. In these circumstances we would use professional judgement to make sure that the individual truly understands the implications of counselling and confidentiality, this refers to an individual being 'Gillick competent'.

 Lord Scarman's comments in his judgment of the Gillick case in the House of Lords (Gillick v West Norfolk, 1985) are often referred to as the test of "Gillick competency":

" is not enough that she should understand the nature of the advice which is being given: she must also have a sufficient maturity to understand what is involved."

He also commented more generally on parents' versus children's rights:

"parental right yields to the child's right to make his own decisions when he reaches a sufficient understanding and intelligence to be capable of making up his own mind on the matter requiring decision."

When a young person is 16 years old then, legally, they do not need parental consent to access our services. For young people over 16 years old, we would gain their consent and advise that they inform their parents or carers they are attending counselling sessions as it is good practice.

What does EHP's School Counselling Team do with regards to confidentiality?

For this counselling service to be successful it requires strict confidentiality.  Best results will be achieved when there is a trusting relationship between the counsellor and the child or young person they are working with.

EHP's School Counselling Team take confidentiality and safeguarding seriously and follow the safeguarding procedures in place within education settings. In the first session with any child or young person, the counsellor will clearly set boundaries. These boundaries will inform the child or young person what information will and won't be shared. Within the EHP counselling service it is possible for counsellors to share information relating to strategies and advice to teaching staff, without revealing confidential information.

Whilst it is good practice to involve parents/carers and families wherever possible, in some circumstances the child or young person may wish not to have their parents/carers involved with any interventions or therapies they are receiving. In these cases schools should be aware that those aged 16 or over are entitled to consent to their own treatment, and their parents/carers cannot overrule this. Children under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if it is thought that they have enough intelligence, competence and understanding to fully appreciate what is involved in their treatment.

Mental health and behaviour in schools, 2016

What are the benefits of using our School Counselling Team?

Counselling improves mental health and emotional wellbeing which can maximise a child or young person's potential and facilitate helpful relationships within the school environment. Our onsite School Counselling Team's services can be accessed by all levels of need, bringing the following benefits to children and young people:

  • Fast and easy access to an experienced school counsellor
  • Access to having someone who can listen
  • Opportunities to get things off their chests
  • Early assessments and interventions
  • Increased emotional wellbeing
  • Reduction in psychological distress
  • Reduced escalation of difficulties
  • Improved attendance
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Raising awareness of mental health issues
  • Maximised progress
  • Increased resilience
  • Improved capacity for learning
  • Reduction in behavioural difficulties
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem
  • Increased psychological wellbeing
  • The ability to appropriately manage emotions
  • Increased motivation towards education

Counselling can be used as an effective holistic intervention among children and young people whose emotional wellbeing is compromised.

What does EHP's School Counselling Team provide for the whole school?

School-based counselling is part of an effective whole school approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing. Our School Counselling Team provide the following whole school services in addition to more bespoke requests:

  • Raising awareness about emotional wellbeing and mental health
  • School environment reviews
  • Drop ins
  • Advice and guidance relating to provision
  • Policy creation and reviews
  • Training and workshops
  • Parent information sessions
  • Counselling services to staff
  • Supervision for existing counselling services/providers

Our whole school services bring the following benefits to schools:

  • Increased resilience
  • Enhanced emotional wellbeing and mental health
  • Increased progress
  • Improved staff wellbeing

Using our School Counselling Team within whole school approaches provides consistency towards emotional wellbeing and mental health within an education setting.

School based counselling is likely to be most effective where it is delivered as part of a whole school commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing. Emotional health is everyone's business and schools will want to consider the following areas of school practice and how they can work together to best support pupils.

Counselling in schools: a blueprint for the future, 2016

How can our School Counselling Team be used within education settings?

Our School Counselling Team can be used in various ways within education settings according to requirements and budgets. Examples of how our School Counselling Team can be used within education settings include:

  • Drop in sessions for children and young people to see counsellors without an appointment, these could take place during lunch times, before school and/or after school
  • A fixed number of sessions for named children and young people
  • A fixed number of sessions through a referral system
  • Staff counselling packages

Implementation of our School Counselling Team can be discussed during a consultation based on the individual education setting, staff, children and young people involved.

Why use EHP's School Counselling Team?

There are many reasons to choose EHP's School Counselling Team to provide social, emotional and mental health input within your education setting. A cost effective and high quality service is provided by our School Counselling Team who:

  • Have accredited counselling qualifications
  • Respect children and young people's privacy and dignity
  • Provide relevant information about the school counselling service to children, young people, staff, parents and carers
  • Are independent whilst integrating into the education setting
  • Provide a private, secure, safe and welcoming service
  • Collaborate with teaching staff to improve the quality of counselling and teaching
  • Work within relevant legislation and procedures, including: ethical frameworks, child protection and safeguarding procedures
  • Make children and young people our primary concern
  • Have appropriate clinical and managerial supervision arrangements in place
  • Promote continuing professional development among our counsellors
  • Liaise with appropriate members of school staff
  • Value each child or young person as an individual
  • Have knowledge of mental disorders and the evidence base for effective interventions
  • Have policies in place for referring onto, and working with, other agencies
  • Provide written reports upon request

Improving social, emotional and mental health within education settings through promoting resilience and early intervention brings many long-term benefits to children, young people, staff, families and the community.

Next steps

  • Step 1.Interested?
  • Step 2.Request more information
  • Step 3.Commission EHP


Our services can be funded through a variety of ways.

Our strong expectation is that, over time, all schools should make counselling services available to their pupils.

Counselling in schools: a blueprint for the future

Our School Counselling Team provide onsite mental health provision to education settings to increase resilience and emotional wellbeing among children and young people. Individual, group and systemic approaches strengthens mental health interventions within education settings for sustainable long-term changes.

Commission EHP

Our specialist multidisciplinary services can be commissioned through a service level agreement and as standalone input.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about the services we offer or to book a free initial discussion then please contact us on email

Find out more

Is this page helpful?   Yes   No