From 2019 to March 2022 BACP received funding from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GM H&SC Partnership) via the Association of Colleges, to deliver supervision skills training programmes for college staff in Greater Manchester. The training enabled colleges to offer supportive practice supervision sessions for those staff carrying extensive mental health caseloads. We've now built on this experience to develop a network of trainers who deliver this training to a wider audience, including schools and other relevant workplace settings.

The training offered is aimed at teaching, pastoral and support staff rather than those from the counselling and psychotherapy professions. It can also be adapted for other education, health or social care settings. It provides participants with the skills to offer regular supportive supervision* that is work focused, non-managerial and supports the wellbeing and development of the supervisee.

Read the Supervision pilot project interim report (pdf)

* The term supportive supervision is used to identify the use of supervision skills in a safe, supportive and contracted environment with someone who provides pastoral or similar emotional support to others. This is quite distinct from supervision for the counselling profession, which is a requirement for all BACP practitioners providing therapeutically-informed services.

The training

The training was initially developed by consultant, trainer, supervisor and author Steve Page (MBACP) working alongside Children, Young People and Families Lead Jo Holmes. The network training is delivered by BACP members who are also supervisors and trainers.

The training is delivered over two full days, with a further half day three months later to enable participants to consolidate their learning and further develop their skills. Participants also have the option to be part of a wider evaluation of the supervision model to capture impact and outcomes.

Two training options are available and are shown below. The training can be delivered online via a video conferencing platform. We advise networks of schools to come together to share the costs of the training.

Programme 1: Supervising others

Participants may work in any role, provided they have the suitable skills and aptitudes to offer supportive supervision and consider themselves to be good listeners.

Once participants have completed the initial two-day training, they will supervise two people with pastoral or student support roles, either in their own setting or another partner setting.

Following the training, we anticipate that each candidate will deliver supervision to a nominated colleague (for example designated safeguarding lead or pastoral team worker) once every half-term.

Programme 2: Peer supervision training

This programme prepares participants to both give and receive peer supervision and is aimed at pastoral staff teams (or groups of staff) who are keen to come up with creative solutions to meet their own supervision needs and to develop themselves as supervisors.

Following the training, each participant will be allocated a supervisor and a supervisee. We anticipate that supervision takes place once every half-term.

At least five members of staff from one school or college need to sign up to this training. Each training programme can accommodate staff from up to three separate educational establishments at once.

Learning outcomes

At the end of both training options, participants will:

  • have greater understanding of the purposes of supportive, reflective practice supervision
  • enhance their existing communication skills and awareness for supervising
  • understand the cyclical model of supervision and putting theory into practice
  • offer sessions within set boundaries and know their limitations
  • know how to set up a sustainable model of supportive reflective practice supervision in their school or college setting


The training can be bought in at a cost of £2,500 per two and a half days training for up to 15 members of staff. These costs can be shared with other schools and colleges or partner networks. Any additional participants are charged at £150 per head. 

If you are interested in booking this training, please fill in our enquiry form. 

What participants say...

This regular supervision means I’m not allowing things to build up in my mind – taking the lid off the pressure cooker – and it allows me to be calmer, which in turn means I’m more productive in the workplace. While this is work-based supervision, being in an emotionally better place has an influence on all areas of my life, since I don’t switch emotions on and off just for work.

Many of us get to the point where our heads feel they are about to explode. Even on a good week, lots of students are hitting crisis point and there’s always an incident. It can feel like everyone wants a bit of you and there’s not enough to go around. Sometimes I feel burnt out. I really believe the more structured supervision I have, the less likely I am to burn out. It just makes you feel lighter.

The training is one of the best courses I’ve completed since being in this pastoral role. It’s given me some great tools to work with, with students, particularly around boundaries.

The trainers

The training is currently delivered via video conferencing by a network of trainers, who are also counsellors and supervisors.

Danka Chitryn

Danka Chitryn

I have worked as a counsellor for the last 20 years in the NHS and hospices, and before that as a teacher for 12 years. I trained in the person-centred approach which offers a firm foundation in relational therapy and have a post graduate certificate in counselling supervision. 

I believe a relationship between supervisor and supervisee that provides opportunities for growth, exploration and learning without fear of blame or shame is key to effective supervision in which trust and compassion reign.

I deliver supervision to university counselling, wellbeing and student support service teams and hospice staff. I'm passionate about supporting people in finding their voice to be heard and understood, and enabling them to find compassion and self-care to make changes for themselves and those they work with. 

Lizzie Holt

Lizzie Holt

I am a BACP accredited counsellor, clinical supervisor, mindfulness teacher, and academic. Since becoming a BACP member in 2014, I have worked in schools and universities, non-profit organisations, and have been a counselling manager in the private sector. I currently work in private practice and lecture at a university in Greater Manchester. As well as adult counselling, I completed training in children’s counselling with Place2Be in 2017, where I worked in primary schools across Manchester for two years.

During 2019-2020, I was a supervisor with BACP as part of this pilot scheme, where I supervised pastoral and safeguarding leads in further education colleges. Alongside my work, I am currently completing a Doctorate in Psychological Trauma.

Meg Hughes

Meg Hughes

I’m a positive, empathic, and conscientious practitioner with 10 years of qualified therapeutic experience counselling adults, children and young people. My particular expertise includes working with bereavement, depression and anxiety, family relationships and childhood trauma.

I've been a qualified clinical supervisor for five years providing supervision for trainee and qualified therapists, and employees within education and non-profit organisations. Before that I worked in secondary education as a teacher, head of year and head of faculty.

I’m passionate about supervision and see it as a wonderful opportunity to develop collaborative relationships that enable exploration of all aspects of work, safeguarding, sharing information and good practice.

I have a Diploma in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy and Certificate in Supervision and currently run a private practice in Greater Manchester.

Debbie Magid

Debbie Maid

I am a qualified person-centred counsellor and clinical supervisor and have been a member of BACP since 2014.

I have been working as a school counsellor for the past four years in both primary and secondary settings. The secondary school I currently work in has a sixth form so I have a lot of experience working with students up to 18 years old. I also have my own private clients ranging in age from 16 to 60. I also provide supervision to counsellors, trainee counsellors and members of pastoral support teams in school.

I have worked in an educational setting for the past 20 years and am committed to providing the best possible support to all students and clients that I see. I am led by my clients and have developed workshops and groups with students, parents and staff to focus on the needs of the students.

Charlie Morse-Brown

Charlie Morse-Brown

I'm an integrative therapist, artist and arts facilitator. I've spent my career working in the arts and education, working with school-refusers and vulnerable learners in flexi-art schools and therapeutic interventions. I've worked as a school counsellor since 2013, interweaving the arts and a creative approach to all my work.

As a school counsellor I work closely with my colleagues, the DSLs and those who provide pastoral support. I have devised several supervisory structures and systems to embed in schools and colleges. Supervisory spaces are crucial if we want to prevent burnout and model holistic systems where the wellbeing of all - staff and students - is nurtured and protected. I have also set up free staff counselling for all staff in one school I work at.

Sacha Gottlieb

I'm an accredited member of BACP, having trained as an integrative counsellor in 2013. I work therapeutically with adults, children and young people in private practice. I've worked within schools and colleges, both as a counsellor and in my previous  career as a youth worker. I offer 1:1 counselling, groupwork and supervision support for staff. I supervise trainee and qualified counsellors and I'm also a trainer in the field of mental health, tutoring on counselling courses for Place2Be and offering workshops about common mental health issues.

My experience of delivering supervision with staff from a number of schools, colleges and charities is that they use it in many different ways. We share ideas, support each other through challenges, build and strengthen relationships within teams and take learning back in the workplace. They value having a space that's for them, where they set the agenda, and where they can reflect openly on their work, the impact it has on them and their relationships. I've always enjoyed the benefits of supervision in my own work and am firmly committed to sharing this with others.