FOI Request - Primary and Secondary School MH Support
1) How many primary schools within your local authority area have access to a student mental health counsellor or mental health worker?
1b) Of those that do, is the relevant worker based in the school for a certain number of days per month or do they attend at the request of the school when a concern arises?
2) How many secondary schools within your local authority area have access to a student mental health counsellor or mental health worker?
2b) Of those that do, is the relevant worker based in the school for a certain amount of days per month or do they attend at the request of the school when a concern arises?
3) If applicable, of those primary schools which do have access to a student mental health counsellor or mental health worker, is one counsellor/worker responsible for more than one school at a time?
3b) If so, how many schools on average is each worker responsible for?
4) If applicable, of those primary schools which do have access to a student mental health counsellor or mental health worker, is one counsellor/worker responsible for more than one school at a time?
4b) If so, how many schools on average is each worker responsible for?
5) Do mental health counsellors or workers, or teacher-led pupil support teams, in secondary school settings in your council area have the ability to refer pupils to CAMHS?
1) All 46 primary schools in Moray have access to The Exchange - our Counselling in Schools provider for children aged 10 and above.
Children under the age of 10 can access our SONAS Wellbeing Service provided by Action for Children. Both of these services are commissioned by Moray Council.
1b) The Exchange School Counselling Service Counsellors respond to referrals for pupils across the entire Moray primary school network. They arrange mutually convenient times to attend respective schools on set days and times on a weekly basis for short term support input.
During the school holiday periods the service can be accessed in a school building, community space (booked in advance by The Exchange for the purpose of counselling over these periods), within The Exchange’s Elgin office space, online or via the phone. This flexibility is there in order to meet the varying needs of our young people.
2) All 8 Secondary Schools in Moray have access to Counsellors from the Exchange on a weekly basis throughout the entire academic year. The days and times are set at the beginning of the academic year.
2b) Each secondary school has access to a Counsellor between one and three full days per week throughout the academic year. The volume of referrals and waiting lists are continually monitored by the Service Manager and where there is capacity Counsellors may be seconded to another school for a short period to reduce waiting times.
During the school holiday periods, the service can be accessed online or via telephone at times suitable for the young people being supported. Alternatively, they can be seen on school premises (if open), within community spaces booked in advance for the purpose of counselling, or at Exchange’s Elgin office/therapeutic space. Having this level of flexibility is intended to meet the varying needs of our young people.
3) Each Counsellor splits their time between the schools within their 2 assigned ASG areas responding to the demand from each school. There may be times when they spend an entire day in one school and on other days may visit 3 schools within an ASG area. The Service Manager ensures the most effective use of resource/time is made and least amount of travelling between schools each day. There is flexibility to move Counsellors to support children in another ASG area if they have capacity within their own in order to minimise any unnecessary waiting times.
3b) Each counsellor has responsibility for 2 ASG areas which on average equates to around 12 primary schools
4a) The Exchange have 6 Counsellors split between 8 secondary schools. Throughout the working week they most of the Counsellors have responsibility for more than one school at a time on different days of the week.
If one Counsellor has capacity and another Counsellor is likely to develop a waiting list then the time/resource will be moved to accommodate the increase in demand in specific schools. This allows flexibility to meet the needs of the young people within the Moray Schools whilst minimising waiting times.
4b) Two of the Counselling staff only work in one school sharing the responsibility of that school with a colleague. The other Counselling staff have responsibility for 2 or 3 maximum schools throughout their working week.
5) In Moray our CAMHS, The Exchange School Counselling Service and SONAS Wellbeing Team Managers meet at regular intervals throughout the year to refer-on cases to each other’s service.
This is based on need and level of success, or not, of any previous interventions. This is to ensure the right level of service at the right time.