Because ...

  • Research shows that play-based counselling models can significantly reduce psychological distress in primary school aged children (1).

  • Almost half of children find it stressful because they have nobody to talk to (2).

  • Two thirds of primary school children revealed that they worried all the time about something at home or at school (3).

  • 1 in 5 children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once during their first 11 years, and many adults with lifetime mental health issues can trace their symptoms back to childhood (4).

  • Pressure on teachers to meet targets linked to pupil attainment can affect their stress levels & can impact the way they interact with pupils. The National Union of Teachers discovered 93 % of teachers felt their stress levels ‘sometimes impact’ the way in which they interact with pupils.

  • Research has shown that on average, children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social and school well-being, had higher levels of academic achievement and were able to engage with school more (5)

  • A child’s emotional difficulties can cause problems with their relationships and hinder their ability to learn.  Studies report that human cognitive processes are affected by emotions, including attention (6), learning and memory (7), reasoning (8), and problem solving (9). 


  • Is a more accessible emotional support service

  • De-stigmitises mental health

  • Helps teachers focus on teaching

  • Can raise school standards

  • Can have a positive impact on the whole class

  • Builds emotional resilience and promote healthy emotional development

  • Develops the child’s self-awareness, emotions and behaviour, and utilisation of personal resources

  • Supports the school staff’s concerns about children’s mental health

  • Expands the child’s curiosity and their engagement with learning

  • Encourages exploration of feelings and trying different ways to respond to difficulties and to others

  • Facilitates development of the child engaging with staff, peers and the curriculum in a constructive way

  • Facilitates the child to develop trusting relationships with school staff in order to accept help 



  • An appropriate room, available each agreed counselling session, left undisturbed by school staff. A safe space which is private for the duration of each session and accessible to all pupils

  • Lockable cupboard

  • A table and 2 no. chairs

  • A dolls house and sand tray (if funding allows this)

  • Access to a sink

  • Secure space to store children's personal boxes