How counselling can help
Counselling provides support for young people facing personal trauma, bereavement, difficult home circumstances, stress, bullying or abuse. It also contributes to the broader agenda of improving educational outcomes for all pupils by tackling their barriers to learning.
How does the service work?
The one to one support provided conforms to the current best practice and professional standards for school based counselling, specifically for counsellor qualifications, supervision policy and safe working practices.
The Counsellors’ main point of contact will be the Key Contact, who is appointed by the school. The Key Contact may be the designated teacher for child protection, the head of pastoral care or another teacher.
There are three main referral routes - your child can self refer, may be referred by someone from the school or by the parent or carer. The final decision lies with your child as to whether they wish to receive counselling.
Delivery of service
The Independent Counselling Service for Schools (ICSS) is provided under contractual arrangements by organisation(s) that have undergone a public tendering process. The service is delivered using standards and protocols based on good counselling practice within the organisational context of the school.
The ICSS has been accessible to all grant-aided post-primary schools that choose to use it since September 2007. The service was extended to pupils of post-primary age in special schools at the start of 2011.
More information including schools responsibilities is available in the ICSS Handbook.