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No cash to counsel teachers

Internal counselling services for teachers are more successful in cutting absence rates and improving health, Edinburgh councillors were told this week. The city is keen to continue a scheme started by the former Lothian Region despite running out of cash. Between September 1993 and November 1995, 1,240 counselling sessions were held for 332 clients.

A temporary counselling and welfare service set up by Edinburgh District Council has provided a restricted service since local government reorganisation in April.

Headteachers and other managers should be alerted to the opportunities for counselling, advice and support, the city's education committee was told. A paper noted: "Managers should be trained to recognise negative stress in staff and to deal with it as with any other performance-related issue."

The council maintains that extra help from a trained counsellor should be available when problems cannot be dealt with by the school.

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