For Schools

Who are Art Therapists?

Art Therapists are widely employed in schools to provide support for children and young people and they have a postgraduate qualification in Art Therapy. It is a legal requirement to be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to practise anywhere in the U.K. as an Art Therapist or Art Psychotherapist.

Why Art Therapy in education?

Art Therapy can be helpful in addressing individual needs and issues of access to the National Curriculum. Research shows that when children are experiencing emotional difficulties their general functioning can be affected, and they find learning very hard. Art Therapy as a form of intervention can assist with a pupil’s psychological, emotional, educational, physical and social development.

For an article from The Guardian about Art Therapy in school read Max Keating’s A Place to Hide and Heal

Referral criteria

The pupils who may benefit are those who are finding it difficult to access educational opportunities:

  • Pupils experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties. Such pupils may present as withdrawn, depressed, angry, violent in their responses, lacking in confidence or with inadequate social skills.
  • Pupils whose families have experienced significant traumas.
  • Pupils who are struggling with difficult life experiences.
  • Pupils experiencing relationship difficulty with others (either peers or adults) including bullying.
  • Pupils with communication difficulties or physical illness.
  • School refusal on emotional grounds.
  • Pupils known to hurt themselves periodically when distressed.
  • Pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • Pupils in transition. For example children moving from primary to secondary school and looked after children.

What Art Therapy offers

  • Group and individual Art Therapy for children and young people
  • INSET for staff
  • Support for staff working with challenging pupils
  • Liaison with school staff, parents and outside agencies
  • Attendance at multi -professional meetings and annual reviews
  • Written reports

What facilities are needed?

  • A self contained room, free from interruption, for group and individual work
  • A sink and running water
  • Lockable storage space
  • Art materials
  • Sand and play materials
  • A table and chairs

The time framework

Sessions run on the same day, in the same room and at the same time. 1:1 sessions are 45 minutes long. The duration of Art Therapy may range from a few weeks to a year or more.