Having supplied written evidence to the House of Commons Health and Education Inquiry - Children and Young People's Mental Health - the role of Education - in February, we welcome the report and its recommendations.

However, we are disappointed by the lack of a recommendation related to increased access to school-based counselling for England’s school children.

Dr Andrew Reeves, Chair of BACP, said: “We remain concerned that despite the expectation set out in the Department for Education’s Counselling for schools: a blueprint for the future there has been no progress towards a trained counsellor in every secondary school in England. Without further political impetus England’s children will continue to remain behind their peers in Wales and Northern Ireland in terms of emotional support.

“Children in Northern Ireland and Wales have access to a school counsellor through government supported national programmes, while in England provision remains patchy.

“We know that school-based counselling is a cost-effective and proven early intervention which improves children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

“We believe that all children and young people of school age across the UK should have equal access to professional, qualified counselling services in their schools and this is one of BACP’s asks for the General Election.”

All the main parties have received BACP recommendations for:

  • The development of a national school-based counselling strategy, demonstrating a commitment to children’s mental wellbeing, on a par with Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Delivery of the expectation set out in Counselling for Schools: a blueprint for the future (DH, 2015) for a trained counsellor in every secondary school. This should include access in Further Education institutions
  • Commitment to an early counselling intervention extended to young children in primary schools.