Working in a school is a rewarding but also hugely challenging job and we understand these demands and want to support staff in any way we can.
Our training team has extensive in-school experience in supporting school staff and we feel sure that we understand the dynamic of school life.
In light of this, we offer support in several ways to school staff directly via regular supervision, consultations, staff therapy or through our Mindfulness programme.
Read more about how we are doing this and contact us if you would like to discuss this further. Our workshops can be delivered face-to-face in school or remotely.
When life and work are so stressful, it can be easy to put your own mental wellbeing on the back burner. However, it is more important than ever to look after your own mental health.
Contact us if you feel we could help you or your staff by emailing Catherine Munns.
We know the energy and commitment it takes to work with children and young people in school - we see it every day.
We also know that in order to maintain this every day, the adults supporting these children and young people ideally need to be in as good a place as they can be - mentally, physically and emotionally.
We absolutely appreciate, however, that circumstances are not always ideal and that now more than ever, the mental health and emotional well-being of school staff is being challenged.
We are here to help: our trained and qualified counsellors are ready to talk to you and your colleagues about ANYTHING - these issues do not have to be school related.
We know that you are professionals and experts in your field but for most people there comes a time when it may not just be school pressures that are affecting your ability to get up, get in and get going.
Anxiety, relationship issues, work/life balance, dependents, self-esteem and trauma are just a small part of a very long list of issues that can compromise your daily functioning.
Our counselling is confidential and we will endeavour to offer either video or face to face sessions as appropriate.
We can offer a fixed term or open-ended intervention and will always provide a space where you will be listened to, supported and restored.
Schools are telling us that they consider this to be a professional and discreet service and that they appreciate the points below:
- Generally we can act quickly and often start sessions within a week. For anyone who has experienced their own counselling, you will know that once you have made the leap and decided to commit, you want to start as soon as possible.
- All counselling staff know what it is like to work in schools as they do it themselves. They are therefore aware of how pressurised and challenging it can be.
- The service is competitively priced with a range of payment options available.
- The paperwork for schools is simple and often they can pay in a lump sum which cuts down invoicing.
- Our staff can hold sessions flexibly to suit client working patterns, e.g. via Zoom or face to face within the school setting or in our counselling offices and at mutually convenient times.
Read our testimonials from a head teacher and member of staff from two schools who contacted us following our input:
We have used the BCCS counselling service for staff since October. As a head teacher it is reassuring to know I have a service that I can trust to provide support to staff members. It has allowed me to meet the needs of staff that could not be met in-house. As a head teacher you are often driven by budget, so the competitive rate has allowed me to provide maximum support.
The counselling has been wonderful. It provides clarity around the fog of feelings and emotions that cloud my perspective. It has proven to be invaluable in reminding me that I need space for myself in a life where we spend so much time doing things for others and put ourselves last.
Thank you, and your team, for all the support you are giving our staff. I am so grateful that you are all helping us to keep emotionally buoyant.
For further information and details of costs, please email Louise Picton.
If you would like to display a poster in your school staffroom, please download here.
Schools are increasingly relying on staff to support their students’ emotional needs and to deliver early intervention programmes for those who need extra help. This can be a challenging role as we know that the threshold for being accepted by statutory services is changing and that schools need support staff to deal with often complex presentations that may leave them feeling overwhelmed and deskilled.
This training comprises 2 half day sessions to empower and upskill well-being mentors and support staff with the chance to think around how best to engage students on their caseloads.
We would encourage 15 attendees per workshop.
In our workshop we cover:
- Active listening skills.
- Barriers to engage with an adult.
- How to engage children non-verbally.
- Basic psychological theory.
These workshops are informal, interactive and experiential by nature with plenty of time for discussion, role play and to look at case studies.
We include the chance to experience a mini supervision session and to talk about students that staff are currently working with.
If you would like further information about this workshop, please email Catherine Munns.
We are available as needed to schools to provide therapeutic advice when every resource possible has been used to support a child or young person, to no avail.
Following a thorough assessment involving staff, parents, carers and the young person, we work closely with a member of staff to introduce strategies to support the child or young person in the school setting.
Consultation work is popular and effective and we are delighted to say that we have had nothing but positive outcomes: pupils are integrated back into the classroom and benefit from experiencing more positive relationships with staff and peers alike.
Equally, staff are less challenged and can focus on the whole class while benefiting from a healthier relationship with a troubled pupil.
For further information about our consultations in schools, please email Catherine Munns.
We have a vast experience of working in schools with students and also in liaising with the professionals who work within the school setting.
We understand the demands placed on school staff every day and this is the chance for them to sit alongside a trained therapist and supervisor and to be offered support and guidance regarding their interactions with pupils.
Many staff like to use the space to unpick and understand their encounters with a ‘difficult’ child, some like to look at the impact of organisational issues on their work, some bring personal issues to supervision which they need to separate out from the working environment. It is a gentle and containing process, fully confidential (unless safeguarding/fitness to work issues arise) and can be held on a monthly, half termly or ad-hoc basis.
This is charged at an hourly rate and is usually offered to individuals – Heads of Year, Pastoral Managers, Safeguarding Leads, etc. Group supervision can be arranged on request.
For further information about our staff supervision arrangements, please email Louise Picton.
We can now offer a Mindfulness workshop to all school staff as a 90 minute twilight session or inset workshop; it is suitable for primary and secondary school staff.
A happy, well-motivated staff is an essential ingredient in a high functioning school. The Health and Safety Executive has cited teaching as being among the top 5 occupations affected by work-related stress with 70% of teachers saying their health has suffered because of their job.
An increased ability to deal with the stress and emotional intensity of the job can improve teacher/student relationships as well as the teacher's personal well-being.
Mindfulness and meditation practice can help school staff to change the way they think and feel about their experiences – especially stressful experiences. Through mindfulness exercises, we allow ourselves freedom to pay attention to the present moment, using techniques centred on meditation and breathing.
Recent research from the University of Oxford shows that people who regularly practise mindfulness or meditation can achieve reductions of nearly 60% in their anxiety levels and 40% in their overall stress. Additionally, research explicitly carried out on teaching staff who have adopted a mindfulness practice has indicated a reduction in ‘burn-out’ and an improvement in classroom performance.
Choose from the mindfulness menu for staff or student sessions below but let us know if you have a particular requirement; we are always happy to create a bespoke delivery to suit.
Introduction to mindfulness for school staff - for 'beginners'
This introductory workshop will provide a brief overview of the theory behind mindfulness and meditation and provides an opportunity to sample some of the techniques that form part of a regular practice.
Designed specifically to address the unique stresses that may be experienced by those working in the school setting, this largely experiential workshop is aimed at all primary and secondary school staff to include TAs, pastoral staff, and heads of year as well as teachers. Attendees will participate in practices which they can take away and use at home and at school – in time they may even wish to share them with their students.
Introduction to mindfulness for primary pupils
An introductory workshop adapted especially for all pupils, successfully tried and tested throughout an entire 2-form entry primary school.
Fun and informative, children can learn a little about what mindfulness is and try practices which they can then use at home and at school while enjoying a mindfulness craft activity.
Introduction to mindfulness for secondary students
A small group experiential workshop which allows students to practice techniques whilst learning about the theoretical context and how it may help their stress levels in everyday life.
Regular mindfulness group
Why not let us come into your school to run a regular group with staff or students? Staff find this a great de-stressor at the end of a working day and students may like to join a lunch time session. This allows the techniques to be practised and built upon and is a lovely way to connect with others.
Please email Louise Picton to discuss requirements and pricing.
In response to schools wanting additional sessions after experiencing the Introduction to Mindfulness detailed above, we have started deliveries of themed workshops:
- Mindfulness for sleep
- Mindfulness for self compassion
- Staying present
- Mindfulness for exam stress
Sleep – healthy sleep has more to do with quality of rest than quantity of hours. Sleep meditations help create the inner conditions needed for a truly restful night: when we settle the mind, we rest the body and it is that restfulness that makes it easier to wind down and drift off.
Compassion - looking at this not only for others but for self. To include themes of kindness, our inner-critic and our experience of dealing with ‘difficult’ people.
Staying present - the how and why of staying fully engaged in what is happening right now; to include focus, staying with feelings rather than pushing them away and a need for a constant appreciation of fluidity and an acceptance that everything changes.
Gratitude – in times of stress it is very easy to forget the good things. A gratitude practice can help re-focus and enhance well-being.
Exam stress – mindfulness techniques are now scientifically proven to reduce stress for some people. Students can learn these techniques to cope with pre-exam anxiety but also to use in the exam room itself.
Doing the stress test made me realise that I need to reduce it!
I think the session provides great support in managing the stresses and strains of teaching/working in a school. We would be interested in having a session for our Year 6 children and developing a regular meditation group.
Brilliant session which opened my eyes to ways I can reduce stress which I may not have been exposed to before.
Children’s Mental Health Week takes place this year between 6th and 12th February and the theme for 2023 is ‘Let’s Connect’.
At BCCS we know all about connecting with children and young people, their families and school staff – we do
it every day. We know that you do too and that the first time you connect with your class each day is during registration time; a time not only to see who is present but to check-in emotionally, to chat and to set the tone for the rest of the school day.
What we are really talking about here is social connection – feeling close to others. Feeling loved, cared for and valued in our relationships. Most people want to be accepted just the way they are, without judgement, without being expected to change. Social connection can add purpose and meaning to life – this can be family, friends and you at school. These connections can also help all of us to cope when life feels difficult. Connection makes us stronger.
So, we have prepared a few prompts for you to start a conversation about connection or to offer a connection activity. All are simple, quick ideas that use minimal resources. A great way for you and your class to be part of the 2023 Children’s Mental Health Week and get connecting!
If you have time, we would love to hear what your teachers and pupils thought about our suggested activities and whether these helped them to feel more connected with themselves and one another.
Schools’ fundraising is a vital tool for us and for many years we have relied on the goodwill and generosity of our partner schools and their communities to supplement our income. We would be delighted if you would be able to hold a small fundraising initiative for us during the course of the week – this helps us to increase awareness of our work as well as adding some much-needed funds to our Family Hardship Fund.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we are able to help you in any way.
For our Primary Resources, please click here.
For our Secondary Resources, please click here