Provision of Counselling Service in School

As part of our pastoral provision in Glenlola Collegiate School (GCS) we would like to inform parents/guardians of the counselling service available in School.

GCS employs a part-time pupil counsellor who is available to girls from 8.45am to 1.45pm. Also, an independent counsellor from the organisation “Family Works” is available in School one morning a week. The latter service is funded by the Department of Education as part of its initiative to provide a counselling service for each post primary school in Northern Ireland.

An appointment system is in operation and pupils may access one of the counsellors by the following methods:

• DIRECT REFERRAL – the pupil is referred to the service by a member of the Pastoral Care Team. This may follow a suggestion from parents, Form Teachers or by the pupil herself.

• SELF REFERRAL – pupils may choose to self refer to one of the counsellors. They may collect a referral form from named locations around the school and when completed, place it in the locked box outside the counsellor’s office.

• DROP IN SERVICE – in the case of an emergency you may call in to see either counsellor if they are not already with a client. Alternatively, you can speak to one of the Pastoral Care Team.

The counsellors treat all personal information in confidence concerning pupils who access the service. However, both liaise with the Head of Pastoral Care on a regular basis and provide her with names of pupils being counselled and reasons for referral. If a pupil is deemed “at risk” for any reason, counsellors must immediately pass on this information to the Head of Pastoral Care or her deputy, who fulfil the roles of Designated and Deputy Designated Teachers for Child Protection. This complies with the confidentiality and Child Protection procedures of GCS. In such instances, the Head of Pastoral Care or her deputy will liaise with parents/outside agencies as appropriate and in accordance with SEELB’s Child Protection guidelines, the Headmaster will also be kept fully informed. All pupil notes are securely stored.

The counselling service we offer is in addition to the support already offered to pupils by the schools pastoral care system and is not a replacement.  We appreciate some parents/guardians may have questions about counselling in school. If you have any queries regarding this information, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to help.

Thank you for your continued support.

Heather Law

Head of Pastoral Care & Designated Teacher for Child Protection