We’ve had a productive and positive meeting with the Labour Party’s education representatives to discuss their commitment to funding a counsellor in every school.

Jo Holmes, our Children, Young People and Families Lead, and Karan Chhabra, our Policy and Public Affairs Officer, met with members of Shadow Secretary of State for Education Bridget Philipson’s team.

Discussions included the possible ways to fund a paid counsellor in every school, collaborations with different organisations and the evaluation of current school counselling projects.

Skills, knowledge and expertise

We highlighted the skills, knowledge and expertise of our members and shared statistics from our workforce survey.

The data reveals that around 19,000 counsellors have undertaken specific training to work with children and young people.

We explained that more than half of those have said that they would like to, and have the capacity to, take on more paid client work.

We told the team that our members are trained and available to work with more than 51,000 additional young people per week, based on the data from our survey.

Ease the strain

Jo said: “Funded school counselling is vital now to support our children and young people before they reach crisis point, to ease the strain on NHS services, and to help the many more who may be suffering in silence. We need to do more preventative work so that in years to come issues children and young people currently struggle with don’t become life-long problems.

“This was a really positive and productive meeting. It was another opportunity for us to get across that our members having the skills, training and availability to work more with young people in schools.

“The discussions about funding models were really useful and they are keen to learn from the Welsh model of funding.

Build on this work

“We’ll continue to build on this work to highlight to more politicians,  and funders that school counselling is crucial to invest in.”

Shadow Mental Health Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan emphasised the party’s support for a counsellor in every school at the a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in September, hosted by us in conjunction with UKCP and BPC.

We’ve also secured commitments to fund a counsellor in every school in the past two Labour Party manifestos.

Our response to the Government’s 10-year mental health strategy consultation included emphasising the need for a counsellor in every school.

We’ve also recently sent a letter to the new Minister for Children, Claire Coutinho, outlining the need for funding for school counselling.