Counselling at King Edward’s is an integral part of our pastoral community. Counselling provides pupils with a safe space to allow them to explore worries, anxieties and self-reflection to gain insight for self-awareness and address feelings that may interfere in their personal or academic life. Counselling is not about telling anyone what to do, instead it is to help explore difficulties.

We take children’s mental health seriously; counselling can help pupils to overcome barriers to learning, build self-confidence and help them resolve their own issues. At the heart of the School’s ethos is the idea that understanding and engaging with the full breadth of a child’s life is fundamental to pupils feeling valued and cared for. King Edward’s education nurtures and enables pupils to thrive.

School Counsellor Vanessa Edworthy is a fully qualified and experienced lead counsellor with over 18 years’ experience working in education. Vanessa is Senior Accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Vanessa works within the BACP Ethical Framework for safe and ethical practice.

Vanessa is based in the old ‘Engine Room’, a lovely, freshly refurbished room just inside the main exit to the Marching Steps, on the corner of South Side. Counselling is private and confidential (within the usual requirements of the safeguarding and child protection policy.)

Her working hours are shown below:


What is counselling?

Counselling and psychotherapy are broad terms used to describe talking therapies for those seeking support for a wide range of emotional, mental health and life issues. “Going to counselling” does not indicate that a pupil is ill or unusual; seeking support this way is an entirely normal part of life. Pupils can access counselling for any problem that is troubling them. No problem is too big or too small.

How do I contact the Counsellor?

The Counsellor can be contacted through Firefly (the internal school network) or by using the email address This is a confidential email address only accessed by the Counsellor. Pupils can refer themselves or they can ask a member of staff or a parent to do this for them using the methods above.

What are the Counsellor’s hours at School?

Vanessa works on Mondays 8:30am – 1:30pm; Tuesdays 1pm-6pm; Wednesdays 12:20pm – 4:30pm, and Thursdays 12:00pm-6.00pm. Wherever possible, pupil appointments will be made outside lesson time but where this is not always be possible, disruption to key core lessons will be minimised.


How long will my son/ daughter see the Counsellor for?

Counselling sessions are usually 50 minutes in duration on a weekly basis. Sometimes a single session will be enough but many pupils will attend several times. Initial counselling sessions are free to pupils and staff as part of the pastoral care we offer. Regular weekly counselling sessions or ongoing counselling may need to be charged, however, in these cases the Counsellor or Deputy Head will be in contact with a pupil’s parents to make the necessary arrangements.

What if my son/daughter refuses counselling?

Counselling is entirely voluntary. In exceptional circumstances, staff may recommend that a pupil engage with a particular issue but this will never be compulsory.

Can I come for counselling?

Counselling is available for pupils and staff only. As a School, our first responsibility is to the pupils first and they will be prioritised for appointments. However, if parents or guardians would like further information on how to access support for themselves or would like family therapy services you are very welcome to contact Vanessa for some advice. The Counsellor can be contacted through Firefly (the internal school network) or by using the email address

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