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Counsellor is always available

Few schools offer the full-time counselling service for pupils available at Glan-Y-Mor comprehensive, Burry Port, writes Felicity Waters.

Counsellor Margaret Yeoman started with a weekly visit to the 780-pupil Carmarthenshire school, but the demand for one-to-one advice means it has become a full-time job.

"I listen, but you need to ask questions to take the children forward," said Mrs Yeoman. "Pupils can come to see me at any time to talk about problems they may have and I do my best to see how I can help them help themselves.

"I also have parents coming in to see me."

The school takes bullying very seriously. Older pupils befriend younger ones and monitor possible problems in the school yard, and incidents of bullying are referred on immediately.

"Allegations of bullying are often affected by other issues and I try to help children to boost their self-esteem and develop assertiveness skills as well," said Mrs Yeoman. "I think it helps that I'm not a teacher, and pupils know there is someone outside of the class whom they can come to."

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