We’ve written to the Education Secretary urging him to allocate extra funding to counselling in schools and colleges.

Our call to Gavin Williamson outlines how the Covid-19 pandemic is already having a serious impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the nation’s children and young people.

It highlights that allocating resources to therapeutic support in schools and colleges in England is needed to “stem what will inevitably be a more severe crisis without urgent attention from the Government.”

National commitment

We’ve asked for a national commitment to counselling provision for all children in England’s secondary schools, bringing us into line with the other nations of the UK.

We’ve said that access to counselling must also be extended to further education colleges.

Speaking about the letter to the Education Secretary, our Children, Young People and Families Lead Jo Holmes, said:

“There has never been a more appropriate time to relaunch our ask for government funded school and college counselling provision, with a focus on Year 6 upwards.

Vital support

“Many school counsellors have been working to offer vital support to young people online during the school closures. We expect they will see an increase in demand for their services as schools return and young people struggle to come to terms with how their lives have been transformed by the pandemic.

“We know that early, accessible help is key. This is crucial now, more than ever before, to help with the range of challenges children and young people are facing, including dealing with change and uncertainty, loss, isolation and family worries.

“Access to counselling needs to be universal, with no better place than one-stop provision available in educational, or for some, community settings.”

Campaigning for paid counsellors

This letter is the latest activity in our campaigning work calling for a paid counsellor in every school in England.

Last year our Children, Young People and Families Lead Jo Holmes met the Children’s Commissioner, a vocal and high-profile supporter of school counselling, and her team to discuss counselling in schools.

During Covid-19, we’ve continued to work closely with the Scottish and Welsh governments on advising on standards of school counselling.

We’re also putting together a survey of our members who offer school counselling services to help inform our future work in this area.