The Northern Ireland Education Department are launching a primary school counselling pilot scheme and primary schools will require experienced children and young people (CYP) counsellors.

The pilot scheme runs until the end of the current financial year and gives CYP counsellors the opportunity to provide counselling in all primary school settings across Northern Ireland, where there is no current established provision.

The Education Department are looking for trained counsellors, who have a least 150 hours of clinically supervised practice with children and young people. Members are also required to have an enhanced access Northern Ireland check and need to have the capacity to take on additional hours. The current vacancies are open to both registered* and accredited CYP counsellors and are targeted in areas where schools don’t already have access to counselling services.

Members will be required to deliver face-to-face sessions locally, where there is no current primary school counselling provided. Members or services who are already providing primary school counselling will continue to do so.

Any online provision, if restrictions change, will need to be negotiated directly with the school and take into account working with this younger age group online.

If you’re interested in this opportunity and would like to find out more please email Angela Kane, Head of Pupil Support Team, Department of Education.

There is a caveat that registered members need to be ‘working towards’ accreditation. However, this process does not need to be completed before the end of March due to restricted timeframes linked to the pilot. However, if the pilot was to be extended, this would be a requirement aligned with guidance set by the Northern Ireland Education Authority for Independent Counselling Services for Schools (ICSS).