Counselling

Schools are not required to provide counselling services for students. The expectation on schools is that they are able to signpost students in need to relevant external services – for example, the NHS or local authority-related organisations or charities. Many schools are not able to make their own provision. However, at WBGS we are fortunate to have been able to offer counselling in school for several years.

We increased this provision further in response to the pandemic. As we have a number of different counselling or counselling like services they are summarised below together with information on how they are accessed.

Please note the following in considering this information:

  • Pastoral leaders constantly review which students might benefit from these services and approach students (and their parents) where we consider it appropriate
     
  • Students need to be willing to engage with these sources of support
     
  • Talk in counselling sessions is confidential, unless the counsellor believes there is a safeguarding concern that needs to be raised with the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead
     
  • There are also a number of external agencies that can support student’s experiencing emotional challenges, particularly through their GP and local authority. In Hertfordshire see
    https://www.servicesforyoungpeople.org/

How to access Counselling services

Please see the range of counselling services we offer at school and how to access them:

Safespace Counselling

Description:
Counselling service bought in from the local authority. Professional counsellors specialising in children and young people. 50 minute sessions generally in lesson time, although some flexibility to allow for online provision.

Referral process:
Formal referral made by school. Parental consent required (unless over 16 in certain circs)

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Parents may request access via initial contact with FT or HoY or Safeguarding Leaders (Mr MacLeod, Mrs Groves or Mrs Messik).

School Counsellor, Helena Shallcross

Description:
Professional counsellor employed by the school. Same as Safespace except sessions may vary in length according to need; also takes place during the school day.

Referral process:
Informal referral process within school. Parental consent not required (ie students may self-refer and request confidentiality of access to service).

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Parents may request access via initial contact with FT or HoY or Safeguarding Leaders (Mr MacLeod, Mrs Groves or Mrs Messik)

Chessbrook Outreach

Description:
Counselling-type service provided by a visitor from our local Educational Support Centre; on the school site during the school day. Focuses on students where emotional issues affect student behaviour.

Referral process:
School makes formal referral; parents need to consent.

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Not a service requested by parents – school initiates.

Mental Health Support Team practitioner

Description:
NHS service in school. For students with emerging mental health issues. Initial assessment followed by up to 6 sessions to develop strategies for managing emotions (CBT)

Referral process:
Formal referral made by school; parents need to consent.

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Parents may request access via Mr MacLeod macleodj@watfordboys.org

MHST Practitioner

Description:
Group sessions eg on exam anxiety, to start later in 2021/22

Referral process:
Drop in attendance

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Parents will be informed when these start if they wish to encourage sons to attend

MHST Practitioner

Description:
Periodic 1:1 drop in sessions on Friday lunchtimes in T6; dates announced on google classroom and in assemblies

Referral process:
Drop in attendance

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Dates may be shared with parents


Lay Chaplain, Mr Matthews

Description:
Opportunities to talk regularly 1:1 with experienced pastoral leader, Mr Matthews.

Referral process:
Informal referral; parental consent not required.

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Parents may contact Mr Matthews matthewsp@watfordboys.org


Learning Support Dept group sessions

Description:
Range of opportunities to talk in group and 1:1 sessions held by the Learning Support Dept. Some sessions available to non-SEND students.

Referral process:
Informal arrangements; parental consent not required.

Who parents may contact at school to gain access:
Parents may contact pearcer@watfordboys.org for further information.