Scottish Government Commitment to invest in School Counsellors: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

A number of questions around the Scottish Government’s commitment to invest in school counsellors in Scotland through the wide ranging commitments in the 2018 Programme for Government:

1.By what date does the Scottish Government aim to achieve this goal?

2.How does the Scottish Government plan to monitor progress towards this goal?

3.How many counsellors have been recruited to date? Do you have the breakdown by local authority of how many counsellors have been employed to date?

4.Could you provide me with any information or advice the Scottish Government holds/has received on how long it will take to recruit around 350 counsellors?

5.How many local authorities will have counselling services in each of their secondary schools when the new school year starts in August? Could you please name them?

6.What exactly does the Scottish Government mean by “counselling services” – will every secondary school have a full-time counsellor?

7.How much does the Scottish Government estimate it will cost to deliver “around 350 counsellors in school education across Scotland”? How did it arrive at this figure?


1.We aim to have the full cohort of counsellors to be in place by September 2020.

2.We are continuing discussions with COSLA regarding ongoing monitoring and reporting requirements of local authorities.


This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested in regards to questions 3,4 and 5. Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because individual local authorities are responsible for the recruitment of counsellors and on how best to deliver the service in their local area. You may wish to contact these local authorities as they may hold the information you are looking for.

6.The counselling service is a universal service and will be available to children and young people over the age of 10 giving them confidence that their needs will be heard and addressed. The aims and principles were developed in partnership with COSLA and provide a framework on which local authorities can develop and design access to a school counselling service. These are attached below.

7.We will provide £12m in 2019/20 rising to £16m per annum thereafter to support the delivery of school counselling services. This figure is based on the experience of North Ayrshire Council who have established a
school counselling service.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at



Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top