School Counsellor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A School Counsellor, or Counsellor helps students discuss their problems, thoughts and feelings in a confidential setting. Their duties include helping students adjust to the culture of a particular school, completing administrative tasks and working with school staff to create a supportive environment.

 

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School Counsellor duties and responsibilities

A School Counsellor’s tasks and responsibilities can vary depending on the situation. They usually undertake administrative tasks and advisory assignments on a daily basis. However, they can also attend open days as a part of the introductions and meet with students and their parents. The primary duties of a School Counsellor includes:

  • Helping students develop academic plans that match their skills and strengths
  • Collaborating with other staff members
  • Facilitating crisis intervention and prevention programmes
  • Communicating with Teachers, parents and administrators about a student’s progress regularly
  • Building non-judgemental relationships based on trust and respect
  • Analysing student performance in the classroom
  • Helping School Administrators plan and carry out school-related programmes and events
  • Helping students talk about their feelings and think about their choices

 

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What does a School Counsellor do?

A School Counsellor works with the staff, students and students’ parents to create a healthy and productive environment for the pupils. They listen to problems regarding schoolwork or stress that may arise during an academic year and offer guidance in overcoming them. They also work with other Teachers and staff members to create training and programmes that can help students excel.

 

School Counsellor skills and qualifications

The main attributes for a School Counsellor are trustworthiness and reliability for both students and other Teachers. A successful School Counsellor candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications including preliminary IT skills to access, maintain and update student records. Other important skills include:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • The ability to balance administrative and support services
  • A good understanding of the schooling system
  • Membership with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • Active listening skills
  • The ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • The ability to understand people’s reactions
  • Patience and the ability to accept criticism

 

School Counsellor experience requirements

Ideal candidates have at least one year of experience in working with children and offering them actionable guidance. If this is an entry-level position with no previous work experience required, employers expect candidates to have experience in volunteering or an apprenticeship in social work or counselling. Counselling is a career area where work and life experience are highly valued and many organisations expect employees to occasionally undergo therapy and reflect on their job with a supervisor. Applicants must also pass enhanced background checks as they will be working with children.

 

School Counsellor education and training requirements

Most employers expect applicants to have a degree or postgraduate qualification in social work approved by Social Work England. Some employers also consider candidates with a degree in sociology, education or youth and community development, followed by a two-year postgraduate degree in social work.

Bonus qualifications include college courses offering a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling, Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Skills or Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, followed by an advanced apprenticeship in school counselling.

 

School Counsellor salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a School Counsellor in the UK is £8.14 per hour. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company.

 

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School Counselor job description FAQs

 

What is the difference between a School Counselor and a School Social Worker?

The two positions have areas of overlapping concerns related to the well-being of a student. A School Counsellor focuses on a student’s education and how they adjust to a school environment. They work with Teachers and school staff to ensure a student is comfortable, taking proper classes and succeeding in the school. A School Social Worker helps students who face difficulties brought on by trauma, disabilities and adverse socioeconomic factors. They also counsel students with mental health issues or behaviour problems and direct them to the appropriate support services.

 

How can you make your School Counsellor job description stand out?

You can describe the overall school environment that the candidates will experience, especially the support and training given to staff. It’s also helpful to state development opportunities and areas for career progression within the school. Try to highlight elements such as salary, holiday allocation, pension scheme and anything else that sets your school apart from the competition.

 

Who reports to a School Counsellor?

Depending on the size of a school, a School Counsellor may have an assistant or even a whole department of School Counsellors that communicate with each other through reports and findings regarding specific students. School Counsellors must also be accustomed to receiving reports and concerns from Teachers and parents about students’ behaviours at home and in classrooms.

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