Agenda Item No.











The Committee had requested to receive a report on the matter which advised of the current position and progress in relation to the development of the local School Based Counselling Service in the Vale of Glamorgan.   The Children and Young People’s Partnership Manager advised that the service had been established as a key recommendation following the Clywch report in 2004 which had been issued by the then Children’s Commissioner Peter Clark.  Members were informed that between April 2012 to March 2013 384 young people had undertaken an episode of counselling.  This equated to 1,921 individual sessions, with females accounting for over 60%  of those accessing the service.  It was noted that more young people appeared to access the service as they got older, with a peak in year 10.  Of those seen by a counsellor only 10 young people reported being a Looked After Child (LAC), and this was below the national average.  This had been discussed by the Management Board who oversaw the service and raised with the relevant staff working directly with LACs but numbers remained low. 


In reporting to Committee the Partnership Manager advised that the main issues for referral were often highlighted as family, stress, anger and bullying issues.  The report also highlighted that through the young people’s Post Counselling Questionnaire feedback was positive:


·                100% of pupils agreed that the referral process worked well. 

·                100% of pupils stated they felt comfortable with the counsellor and would use the service again.

·                80% of pupils stated that using the service had helped improve relationships with friends and family.

·                70% had noted an improvement in their own behaviour and concentration as well as being more able to cope with things at school.

·                Of the 40% of pupils who highlighted that their attendance was an issue prior to counselling all suggested that counselling had made it easier to attend school.

·                Areas highlighted for improvement included the length of waiting lists and the counselling room was not always adequate. These are areas that are being explored with schools and the service provider.  


Welsh Government feedback on the Vale of Glamorgan’s progress had also been very good.  A review by the Welsh Government had used a number of indicators to evaluate the cost and quality of the service during the Spring term of 2011 with the service in the Vale performing well on all of these indicators.


Following reference to the YP Core Tool as detailed in paragraph 13 of the report, Members were informed that this was a psychological tool to measure psychological wellbeing and stress levels and showed a reduction in reported stress levels pre and post counselling of between 9 and 10 points.


The Chairman stated that he was pleased to note that the young people as clients had positively reported that the referral process worked well.


Following consideration of the report, it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the report and the excellent progress to date be noted.


(2)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee continues to monitor progress on the development of the service and that the work programme schedule for the Committee be amended to include that an annual update is presented in May or June of each year.


(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet in order for Cabinet to consider the progress that had been made to date.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       In recognition of the work being undertaken.


(2)       In order to monitor progress.


(3)       For Cabinet consideration.”





Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 23rd May 2013