School attempts to appoint counsellor

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Ormiston Sudbury Academy is to appoint a part-time counsellor to help students with emotional issues such as depression and anxiety.

The school is advertising for a counsellor to work across all year groups for two-and-a-half days a week, and to be available for staff.

Principal Caroline Wilson said the move was not as a result of any increase in pupils’ issues but as a result of losing county council funding for a counselling service.

Previously, the school sent pupils to the Kernos Centre in Sudbury.

“It’s a budgetary issue,” she said. “We have been very happy with the service provided by Kernos, but our funding ran until March and we decided to appoint our own counsellor.

“It’s a business decision based on budgets, and the fact it is cheaper to run it ourselves.”

Mrs Wilson said it was not unusual for schools to provide counselling services but that these roles were generally fulfilled by school nurses or pastoral care staff rather than an accredited counsellor.

Issues around the break up of their parents’ marriages or relationships and financial worries, such as a job loss, or bereavement, were most common.

“We have not seen an increase in issues, in fact it’s decreased,” she said.

Typically, students are given eight sessions with a counsellor.