MORE than 60 referrals have been made to Argyll and Bute’s secondary school counselling service in its first four months, a report has revealed.

Counsellors have been in place for pupils in all 10 council-run secondary schools in the area since Monday, February 8, and their services have been used for a variety of issues.

A report to be discussed by members of a council committee also states that most of the 63 referrals to the service have been made by school staff.

It is felt that positive progress is being made with the service, which was hailed by the council when it reached its target of having a counselling service in each secondary school.

The report will go before the council’s community services committee at its virtual meeting on Thursday, June 10.

The report said: “The school counselling service is progressing positively. Since the service started on February 8, 63 referrals have been received with the average age of the young person being 14 years.

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“There is a relatively even balance across males and females, with slightly more females being referred.

“A wide range of referral reasons have been recorded including anxiety, relationships, trauma and emotional regulation, bereavement, bullying, low mood and self-injury/self-harm.

“Referrals are mostly being received from school staff.

“Early indications are that young people with particular vulnerabilities, such as having additional support needs, being care experienced or being a young carer, are supported to access the service.

“Analysis of trends has identified that the service is being used well across all but one area of the authority and the reasons for this are being investigated further to ensure equity of access.

“Moving forward, further data will be collected including length of engagement and impact for young people.”

The report also says that all of the area’s primary and secondary schools are engaging with the ‘progress and achievement’ module to assist pupils’ progress.

It added: “The resulting data sets are being used to develop planning and individualised targets for each pupil and identified groups.

“Data is analysed at school and authority level to ensure excellence and equity in provision. The authority uses the data to inform improvement planning with schools and clusters.”

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