School Logo

Secondary Counsellor

Here at Killard House School we are committed to providing your son/daughter with every opportunity to reach their potential. We provide a high standard of support through our pastoral care staff and heads of year. However, we are aware that some young people value an opportunity to speak to an adult who is not directly involved with their education. The Independent Counselling Service for Schools (ICSS) offers our pupils this opportunity.


ICSS is funded by the Department of Education and has been available to all post-primary schools since 2007. The counselling support provided conforms to high professional standards and current best practice for school-based counselling. Our current provider is Barnardo’s, and our counsellor is Nicola Boucher.



What is ICSS counselling?

Counselling provides an opportunity for young people to talk in confidence to a qualified Counsellor about issues they want support with. Young people choose what to talk about in counselling. Common themes include coping with: stress, anxiety, relationships, bereavement or growing up.


Who are the ICSS Counsellors?

Barnardo’s provides the ICSS counselling in your son’s/daughter’s school. All Barnardo’s counsellors are fully qualified and have experience in working with young people. Counsellors listen without judging. They help young people make sense of their thoughts and feelings and find new ways to cope. 


Why do we need a Counsellor in school?

Few of us work well when stressed or unhappy. The impact of stressful situations and events can be felt more acutely by young people than adults. If pupils are able to receive support from a qualified Counsellor they have more opportunity to fulfil their potential.


Where and when does it take place?

A private room is available in school during the day. Sessions can last up to fifty minutes. Counselling may last for just a few sessions or may be longer term. The Counsellor reviews the amount of counselling needed with the young person after each session.


Is the counselling confidential?

A key feature of any counselling service is that information is treated confidentially. Counselling is a time to talk without fear of things being discussed elsewhere. This includes not discussing the counselling with parents, unless the pupil requests or gives consent. This may be hard for parents to accept, but ensuring confidentiality is key to establishing trust and confidence with a young person so that they can speak freely and openly about what is concerning them.


However, if a pupil appears to be at risk of significant harm it may be appropriate to seek help from other agencies to keep them safe. The Counsellor will discuss this with the pupil first and then with the school’s Designated Teacher for Child Protection.


What records are kept?

Barnardo’s keeps a record of all the counselling work it carries out with pupils in ICSS. Records are held on a password-protected electronic system. Barnardo’s does not keep records for any longer than necessary