Student Counsellor

Department: Student Support Services
Reports to: Head of Student Support and Engagement
Working Pattern: Part-time (3 days per week)

Term time only, plus 4 weeks

Hours: 18 hours per week (6 hours per day with 4 hours contact time per day)


Salary: £21500

ArtsEd is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff (permanent and visiting) and volunteers to share this commitment; all staff are required to undergo background checks in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 regulations and to hold an enhanced DBS.

Background to ArtsEd


ArtsEd originated from two schools, one founded in 1919 by Grace Cone and one founded in 1922 by Olive Ripman. These two educational pioneers believed passionately in the value of combining a general academic education with specialised training in dance, drama, music and art. They were committed to preparing young people for professional careers in or related to the theatre.  In 1939, Grace and Olive joined forces to create the Cone Ripman School, subsequently named the Arts Educational Schools. Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin drew almost exclusively on ArtsEd students to help them create their revolutionary company London Festival Ballet, which eventually became the English National Ballet. Ballerina Dame Beryl Grey became Director of the Schools in the 1960s. ArtsEd continued to innovate, introducing both professional acting and musical theatre courses and in I986 moved to its present home in Chiswick.  In 2007, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber became President, heralding an auspicious new era for ArtsEd.  The School of Musical Theatre and School of Acting offer full-time BA and MA courses. Our Musical Theatre course is recognised as the best in the UK, while the Acting course is praised for its innovative 50:50 split between stage and screen acting.  Our outstanding record of graduate success sees nearly every one of our Musical Theatre graduates and over three-quarters of our Acting graduates make their professional debuts within six months of graduating.

Summary of the Role


The Counsellor will be a key member of the Student Wellbeing Team, contributing to and progressing the operational enhancement of the service, and supporting the wider work of the Counselling Service and the Student Support provision within ArtsEd, whilst establishing and maintaining links with appropriate external services.

Key Responsibilities

  • To provide counselling, with the core model being either psychodynamic or cognitive behavioural using a flexible, pragmatic approach to adapt models as required in brief counselling interventions.
  • To manage and deliver a range of therapeutic activities including individual and group therapy as well as psycho-educational or themed based workshops
  • To conduct initial assessment of students including those who present with multiple and complex problems, to identify those at risk of academic or psychological breakdown, risk of suicide or self-harm, or risk of developing a mental illness and to agree appropriate action. Following assessment to select a therapeutic approach relevant to the needs of individual students, or to refer to specialist services where available.
  • To manage a caseload of student work, continue to determine levels of student risk, take responsibility for defining the length of the therapeutic activity and define and manage an appropriate counselling relationship compatible with the intended length of work.
  • To manage the case load within the Ethical Framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and to preserve the confidential nature of the service provided to individuals while responding appropriately to the institution’s duty of care to others.
  • To identify and provide appropriate therapeutic interventions to students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • To provide culturally sensitive counselling to a diverse student body, dealing effectively with persons of all races, nationalities, cultures, ages, and genders as well as persons of different sexual orientations and those with disabilities.
  • To maintain up-to-date, professional clinical notes, correspondence, and records, and fulfil the administrative requirements of the service.
  • To actively develop and facilitate the psycho-educational work of the Counselling Service to promote positive student mental health, well-being, and emotional resilience.
  • To participate in developing a specialist area of expertise which will widen the range of service delivery. This could be taking responsibility for a particular project or as part of a service development working group.
  • To provide front-line assessment, support, and referral for students with acute and chronic mental health issues including those who may be at risk of harm to themselves or others.
  • To promote the work of the service by offering consultancy to those in defined welfare roles which will support their work with students and in managing those who have mental health problems.
  • To work collaboratively with student services and Schools to develop policies to facilitate student well-being and to enhance the quality of the student experience.
  • To develop and deliver relevant training programmes for school and departmental staff on a variety of student mental health issues and on practical methods of support for students.
  • To develop and deliver a variety of presentations on the work of the Counselling Service or student mental health issues to school and departmental staff.
  • To work collaboratively within, and to develop existing networks with other student support services within ArtsEd and external services that support the mental health and well-being of students, such as NHS specific services and voluntary organisations.
  • To keep abreast of available self-help materials, and to design such materials where appropriate.
  • To attend weekly team meetings, take part in case discussions and take an active role in service and team development by, for example, taking responsibility for the development of a topic in meetings.
  • To be a member of ArtsEd’s Designated Safeguarding and Welfare Officers’ Group and undertake all necessary training.
  • To engage in formal structures for reflective practice such as clinical supervision, peer case discussion groups to report on work in progress through regular, individual management review sessions and complete an annual Professional Development Review (PDR).
  • To keep abreast of new counselling theories, techniques, and evidence-based practice.
  • To contribute to the development of counselling and psychotherapy by taking an active role in local and national meetings of relevant bodies.
  • To undertake such other appropriate duties as the Head of Student Support and Engagement Services and appropriate staff within the ArtsEd should from time to time require.

All Staff

All staff must promote and safeguard the welfare of children and young persons for who you are responsible and with whom you come into contact.

All staff must carry out their responsibilities with due regard to all ArtsEd policies and procedures, ensuring inclusivity, equality of opportunity, and compliance with Health and Safety in the workplace.

All staff must respect the confidentiality of data stored electronically and by other means in line with the Data Protection Act.

All staff must adhere to the staff Code of Conduct.

All staff are required to regularly undertake Safeguarding, Keeping Children Safe in Education, Prevent, and GDPR training and to maintain their own professionalism and job-related knowledge through ongoing CPD.

All members of staff are required to be professional, co-operative, and flexible in line with the needs of the post and the school.

All Job Descriptions are reviewed annually and will change to reflect the needs of the School and the post.

ArtsEd is committed to the safety, wellbeing and safeguarding of all pupils and students and expects all staff to share this commitment.  Staff in all posts are required to hold a clear, enhanced DBS.

You may also be required to undertake such other comparable duties as your line manager requires from time to time.

Person Specification  Essential/Desirable  Assessment Method 
Qualifications and Knowledge  Applicants must have British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Individual Counsellor Accreditation / UKCP Registration or equivalent body e.g., Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Essential Application
Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the case of a psychologist, qualified as a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist. Essential Application
Knowledge and experience of delivering individual, psychodynamic and/or cognitive behavioural counselling/psychotherapy for a range of psychological problems and at significant depth Essential Application and Interview
Knowledge and experience of adapting a therapeutic model to a brief approach. Essential Application and interview
A detailed and current understanding of issues facing students in Higher Education. Essential Application and interview
Experience  Experience of managing a busy case load at peak times including assessment, crisis intervention, and providing therapy Essential Application and interview
Experience and an active interest in working within a multi-disciplinary team, particularly one where both psychodynamic and cognitive behaviour approaches are widely practised and shared. Essential Application and Interview
Experience of incorporating evidence on best practice into clinical work and training courses. Essential Application
Experience of working with young adults. Desirable Application
Experience of playing an active role in organisational development. Desirable Application
Experience of delivering group work or psycho-educational workshops. Desirable Application
Skills and Abilities  Able to use office IT systems, particularly Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and with the potential and motivation to use new IT tools. Essential Application/ Interview & Exercise
  Ability to take an active part in the educational and developmental role of the service and to be able to make complex theoretical concepts accessible to a lay audience Essential Application/ Interview & Exercise
  Evidence of excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills. Essential Application/Interview & Exercise
  Evidence of the ability and skills to maintain emotional resilience to cope with the high demand and work pressures of a busy counselling service. Essential Application/ Interview & Exercise
  High level of accuracy and meticulous attention to detail Essential Application/ Interview & Exercise
  Excellent organisational skills and the ability to prioritise a varied workload and work to strict deadlines Essential Application/ Interview & Exercise