Our school counsellor is Sarah Hobson.

Counselling provides support for young people facing challenges such as anxiety, stress, bullying, difficult home circumstances, bereavement or personal trauma. It also helps improve educational outcomes for students by tackling their barriers to learning.

A wide range of students from every year group access the counselling service.

How does the service work?

There are several referral routes for counselling – a student can refer themselves by talking to their Pastoral Leader, or they can be referred by their Raising Achievement Leader or Pastoral Leader. A parent or carer who thinks their child may benefit from counselling can speak to the Pastoral Leader about this.

The counselling service is always in demand, so sometimes students have to wait quite a long while before they are offered an appointment. A list of useful apps, websites and organisations offering support is available by clicking on the My Well Being icon on the VLE home page.

Every student can access counselling unless their parent has specifically told the Principal that they object to this. It is up to the young person whether or not they wish to receive counselling. They will be given the opportunity to meet the counsellor to help them decide.

All appointments are during lessons and are arranged as discreetly as possible via email. A student would usually have a course of six sessions, although sometimes they may choose to have less, and sometimes they may need support over a longer period of time. If it becomes clear that the student needs additional help, the counsellor can support a referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

Everything a young person says is kept confidential unless the counsellor is very concerned that they are not safe, in which case she will discuss it with the student and inform the school Safeguarding Manager so that the student can get the help they need.