Access to counsellors in secondary schools and children and young peoples community mental health services: summary report -

From: Scottish Government
Published: Fri Nov 04 2022

An analysis of information provided by local authorities on the school counselling service in their area from July to December 2021.

Children and young people accessing the service

In total across all returns, 12,149 children and young people were recorded as having accessed counselling services between July and December 2021.

There were more girls (7573) than boys (3942) recorded as accessing counselling provisions. 404 young people who accessed counselling services did not identify as male/female or preferred not to specify their gender.

For those local authorities who provided a breakdown of pupils by year group, the two year groups with the highest total number of service users were S3 and S4.




















A small number of pupils accessing the service were not attending school or did not specify which year group they were in.


The overall picture on improving children and young people's outcomes is positive. The returns from local authorities recognise that there are a number of pupils who are currently continuing to access counselling, and have not yet completed an evaluation.

Where evaluation has taken place, some local authorities provided this information in numbers of young people, while others used percentages. Recognising this, it is clear that 4350 children and young people have improved outcomes as a result of receiving counselling. Where outcomes have been provided in percentage terms, they range from 88% to 100% of children and young people having reported improved outcomes.

In addition to the positive improved outcomes figures, anecdotal evidence suggests the counselling service is a beneficial service to children and young people. Feedback provided from authorities included:

  • schools report the counselling service to be extremely successful at supporting CYP and advise that this can been demonstrated in CYPs increased engagement with their education, their resilience and general happiness
  • schools report that CYP and parent feedback is extremely good. Some schools also report a perceived reduction in stigma attached to mental health challenges amongst CYP due to having counsellors on school premises
  • we have gathered feedback from school staff on the school counselling service using a glow form and 100% of them want to see the school counselling service continue. The main feedback given by secondary staff has been how much of an impact the service has had on pupil and staff wellbeing. They commented on the benefits of having a responsive service that was easy to access and available within the school and that can provide more specialised support than they are able to

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Company: Scottish Government

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