We’ve strengthened our work with campaign group Citizens UK as we continue to call for funded school and college counselling provision across England.

We believe there should be government-funded school counselling at every secondary school, further education college and academy in England and have seen growing momentum and support for our campaigning over the past few years.

We’ve been working with Citizens UK, alongside local healthcare commissioners, to lobby both local and central Government to fund school and college counselling since 2019.

Citizens UK is a grassroots alliance of community organisers who engage with leaders from health, local authorities, faith communities, politicians, local councillors, and elected mayors to make changes with and alongside local people.

The group has already helped secure a funded counsellor post for a pilot project across an academy of schools in Tyne and Wear. We’ve also worked with them in Brighton and Hove and in Leicestershire.

Securing paid work

Last month, Citizens UK launched a general election campaign aiming to influence party manifestos to include a nationally funded school and college counselling programme. This would use the trained counselling and psychotherapy children and young people’s workforce, securing paid work for the professional and essential services for children and young people.

The campaign is in collaboration key education and support unions, including NASUWT, NAHT, UNISON and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU) alongside Parentkind, a national charity working with Parent Teacher Associations. 

We’re pleased to be part of this campaign and are encouraging our members to become involved too.

Jo Holmes, our Children, Young People and Families Lead, said: “Our voices are stronger when we work together.

“Citizens UK is a network of national influencers and we share a common aim that every secondary school in England should have access to a paid school counsellor.

“We’ve already seen the positive results of this campaigning in the north east and hope that we can work collaboratively to have a positive impact across England.

“Our members’ perspectives and experiences can be an important part of this and we want your feedback to help shape the campaigning going forward. You are on the front line of working with children’s mental health and we hope that your involvement and support will help this campaign continue to go from strength to strength.”

Sebastian Chapleu, Assistant Director of Citizens UK, said: 

“At a time when our communities up and down the country are still recovering from Covid-19, the scars left by the pandemic are still clearly visible. Uniting leaders from across Citizens UK’s national network of alliances, we’re building power to make sure that the provision of counselling in all schools and colleges across England becomes a key priority for the next government. Building on local successes, our eyes are now on Westminster. Working with the BACP has – and will continue to – enhance our organising effort.”

How you can get involved

There is now an opportunity for you to get involved in this campaigning work as well.

Citizens UK is looking for school counsellors, BACP members and BACP organisational members to become involved in its local groups to help influence the agenda for school and college-based counselling provision across all of England.

If you would like to find out more about our work with Citizens UK email publicaffairs@bacp.co.uk