“Counselling is an intervention …entered into voluntarily to explore, understand and overcome issues causing… difficulty, distress and/or confusion”
(DFE Feb 2016)
The school counsellor’s role is to support children, families and all staff, providing a positive culture for social, emotional and psychological wellbeing across the school and, working in accordance with the current Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
At Conifers we have made a statement of intent to support our children in every way possible. To this end, we have invested in a full-time, dedicated school counsellor, who works alongside staff and the Leadership Team to support our school community.
Counselling is provided on a confidential basis subject to any safeguarding concerns. It is offered on an appointment basis where a child can self-refer or be referred by parents or school staff. Some children “drop-in” at lunch-time or break, highlighting issues that need a quick conversation or an appointment at a later time depending upon the issues presented.
The service is promoted as a whole school approach to ensure good emotional health, wellbeing, building resilience and school effectiveness: during times of transition; building good relationships; developing Life Skills; supporting children with obvious and hidden disabilities appropriately and ensuring a commitment to inclusivity and equality across the school.
Within the community, we work with many families whose children have significant adverse experiences including; parental substance misuse, domestic abuse, trauma, attachment issues and looked after children.
As a preventative intervention, Counselling impacts upon self- confidence, self- esteem and resilience by reducing psychological stress, helping children and adults to manage emotions more effectively and develop a culture of talking about how we feel and how that impacts on our behaviour. The importance of counselling is best evidenced by improved attendance, children staying in the classroom more often, a clearer focus on learning and provides an effective way of parents and families to work collaboratively with the school.