Access to counsellors through schools: delivery aims and principles

Aims and principles for the delivery of access to counsellors through schools.

Partnership approach aims and principles


To provide, in partnership between local and national government

  • access to counselling through schools, enabling locally provided support for children and young people towards positive mental health and wellbeing
  • high quality and effective counselling support as part of a range of supports available locally to children and young people
  • counsellors who are registered and working to an agreed standard across Scotland
  • access to counselling through primary, secondary and special schools, ensuring consistently high quality services available locally, for pupils aged 10 and over


  • The commitment to the provision of counselling through schools should be delivered in partnership between national and local government, and relevant partners, and should build upon the services already in place wherever possible.
  • The provision of counselling should be part of a holistic [child centred] approach to improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
  • Counselling services should be delivered within an agreed definition of counselling by qualified counsellors registered with an appropriate registration body.
  • Counselling services should be available to secondary school pupils primarily and primary, and special schools in communities for pupils aged 10 and over.
  • In recognition of the need to ensure young people are safe, services should ensure a robust assessment is carried out and that young people are supported to access alternative services where counselling may not be appropriate.
  • There should be availability of counselling services during school holidays, to ensure continued support to vulnerable young people.
  • The provision of counselling through schools should align to, and/or enhance the local services to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
  • Counselling services should be accessible. Utilising technology, virtual approaches and delivery in non-educational settings where communities need it, particularly in rural communities.
  • Local policies and procedures in relation to child protection and information sharing should be followed. The requirements of the registering body, for example in terms of professional conduct and supervision should also be followed.
  • The commitment to counselling through schools will be delivered in 2 phases, with full delivery expected by September 2020.
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