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Evaluating a Pilot of School-Based Counselling

Evaluating a Pilot of School-Based Counselling

Executive Summary

This report, produced by Tyne & Wear Citizens in partnership with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and NEAT Academy Trust, evaluates a pilot of school-based counselling undertaken during the 2020/21 school year in a mixed multi-academy trust of six primary and secondary schools in the North East of England.

In terms of pupil outcomes, the key findings of the report are that:

  • All the pupils who received counselling during the pilot showed improvement on all subscales of the Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS), with a definite shift towards ‘normal’ levels.
  • There were clear signs of improvement in educational attainment for around 1 in 3 of the pupils who received counselling.
  • The pupils who received counselling demonstrated a significant improvement in achieving their personal goals, with an 85% improvement in reported progress towards achieving these goals and with no pupil reporting a sharp deterioration in progress.

In addition to these positive outcomes, the report also finds that:

  • The pupils who received counselling identified the placement of provision within school as key to its appeal.
  • Within the trust, there was a need for school-based counselling at both primary and secondary level
  • Among the pupils who needed counselling, poverty, ‘looked after’ status and adverse childhood experiences were key social determinants of therapeutic need. A comprehensive data analysis of the pilot, carried out by the BACP, can be found on page 18 of this report. A summary of the issues arising from the implementation of school-based counselling at NEAT can be found on page 27.

Posted by Lizzie Gutfreund-Walmsley on 9 Nov, 2021