MPs will discuss the provision of school-based counselling next week in the first Parliamentary debate on the subject during this Government.

We believe it’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight the positive impact school counselling can have on children and young people’s lives.

We hope it will demonstrate the need for the UK Government to invest in a paid counsellor in every secondary school, academy and FE college in England. This will bring the country in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which already have government-funded school counselling.

We’ve been campaigning for Government-funded school counselling England for years.

We’ve met with MPs, campaigned with our members, and built relationships with organisations who echo our school counselling call, including Citizens UK whose work with Labour MP Nick Brown has been crucial in this debate being called.

The debate will be led by the Newcastle upon Tyne East MP Mr Brown and by Conservative Chair of the Education Committee, Robert Halfon MP, and will include MPs from across the parties.

We’ve contacted the MPs ahead of the debate to share with them key information about school counselling and highlight the skills and expertise of our members who carry out this work.

Jo Holmes, Children, Young People and Families lead, said: “It’s amazing to see school-based counselling so prominent on the political agenda.

“I hope this debate will demonstrate to MPs why school counselling is so vital and how important it is to invest in it.

“I hope the words heard here will lead to actions and have a positive impact in our campaign for a paid counsellor in every school.

“We know that counselling in schools and colleges can make a huge difference in children  young people’s lives  as it provides, early accessible help that’s focussed 100% on their needs.”

“It’s fantastic to see the growing number of voices getting behind school counselling.”

Last month the Local Government Association, and teaching unions NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers) and NEU (National Education Union) all spoke publicly about the need for further investment in school counselling.

We’ve been pleased to work with Citizens UK on a report evaluating school-based counselling at a multi-agency trust in the north east of England.

In the introduction of the report, Nick Brown explains that he supports investment in school counselling as around three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health disorder, a figure that’s likely got worse since the pandemic.

He adds: “I strongly believe that all children deserve access to quality mental health services.

School-based counselling is a proven intervention for children and young people experiencing

psychological distress and I would like to see it made more widely available.”

The debate is due to take place on Tuesday 9th November in the House of Commons. You can follow it live on Parliament TV.