To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to conduct research on the adequacy of counselling services provided in schools in England.
School based counselling by well-qualified practitioners can play an effective role as part of a ‘whole school’ approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing. It is for schools to decide what support to put in place based on the particular needs of their pupils.
The Department has no plans to make a specific assessment of counselling services provided in schools. However, the Department's nationally representative survey of school provision published in 2017 indicated that 61% of schools offer counselling services, with 84% of secondary schools providing their pupils with access to counselling support. To support schools to provide counselling, the Government has provided advice on how to deliver high quality school-based counselling, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/counselling-in-schools.
The Government is introducing new mental health support teams to provide additional support linked to groups of schools and colleges. The first teams are being set up in 25 areas of the country this year. The aim is for these teams to work together with existing provision, including school-based counselling. The Government will evaluate their introduction to ensure that they do not displace existing provision.