Counselling in Schools(4 Posts)
I find it difficult to understand why all Boarding Schools are not required to have a full time School Counsellor on staff. At DDs school they can request to see a Counsellor in the local town if they need but according to DD people do not feel they can access this service readily. Instead it seems that they are dealing with problems themselves or not as the case may be. The general pastoral care is good at her school but this is not the same as having someone trained to deal with specific issues and with this age range. I know there is a push towards having access to counselling in state schools, I really hope this happens but I also hope the same happens in the independent sector. DD is currently a day student but she is desperate to board for Sixth Form so I am looking at this from every angle before a decision is made. Any thoughts??
DS2's school has an on site counsellor although not full time , I doubt there would be enough take up for that. I know at least three other boarding schools (one very large one) who also employ part time on site counsellors.
I suspect it all comes down to money the school have to pay the counsellor to make herself available and they don't come cheap. The schools I know with counsellors are big name primarily full boarding schools.
How beneficial they are is a seperate discussion .
I think it depends a lot on what sort of problem your DD has or your anticipating her to have. You might find that school nurses and matrons at some boarding schools will either have counselling qualifications and or loads of experience of this age group and supporting them and in the case of school nurses unless it's a CP issue are bound by their code of conduct to keep anything a child says confidential.
Some schools will have child psychologists on site (which you'd have to pay for most likely) .
Boarding school children are also allocated a personal tutor (standard stuff these days) some of these will also offer informal counselling and support and again may have undertaken training in counselling which they again can combine with loads of experience of this age group. Many HM's will also have been trained to offer support and help IME of my own DS and also other HM's I've been involved with professionally, most are exceptionally dedicated to their pupil and exceedingly caring and the support and advise they offer is execellent and surprisingly impartial.
I also think that it's important that they receive and except support from their friends and peers, many schools train older pupils as "peer listeners".
DS's prep school has a full time counselling service on site that the boys can access whenever they want. It's predominantly a day school with some boarding in later years.
I think its still a relatively new idea. My DD's boarding school has a full time Independent Listener as does the prep school my DSs attend. Its a huge cultural shift - I was at my DD's school and left 20 years ago and they would not have seen any need for this at the time!
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