SCHOOL COUNSELLING POLICY

As expressed in our school Mission Statement, we attempt to provide a caring, learning environment where all aspects of the student are valued and nurtured, where students are encouraged to appreciate their own worth so that they may become capable and fulfilled members of society.

The provision of an open counselling service, accessible to all students, without stigma, is a principal goal.  The school employs two key personnel in the counselling area.  Both of these personnel have training in helping students make decisions, change behaviours or effect change in their lives.  The counselling service is principally a safe place where the student will be listened to, without fear, judgement or punitive response, an environment that is supportive and confidential[1].  Students may explore personal, educational or career issues through counselling.

 

Key Functions of Counsellors

  • One-to-one counselling
  • Referral of clients to other professionals where a need is identified
  • Group counselling where the need arises, e.g. where bullying is an issue
  • Informal exploration of personal issues in the special workshop
  • Participation in student care meetings, consulting with Tutors/Year Heads on student welfare issues (both specific and general)
  • Pastoral Care policy development through the school planning process.

The school Counsellor and Guidance Counsellor operate within the following framework:

  • Their own professional Code of Ethics
  • The Child Protection Guidelines

Section 9 of the Education Act 1998, referring to appropriate guidance.

[1] The counselling relationship is confidential.  However, there are times when the counsellor is required to breach this confidence:

  • When the client is a danger to himself or others
  • When a client discloses intent to commit a crime
  • When abuse or neglect of the client is suspected
  • When a court orders the counsellor to make records available

 

Parents and staff referring students are not entitled to details of issues related to student clients.