Phil Mitchell

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Dip. Couns, MBACP (Accred)

Based in Central Leeds and Pudsey Tel: 07780 946568 Email: phil@counsellingwithphil.co.uk 

Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Supervisor, Trainer and Male Sexual Abuse Specialist

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About Group Work

 

In March 2017 the government announced that sex and relationships education (SRE) is to be made compulsory in all schools in England.  Whilst parents still have the right to withdraw their children from these classes, I am keen to work with education providers to ensure that boys have a good understanding of important issues such as grooming, sexual abuse/exploitation, online safety, healthy relationships and mental health/emotional wellbeing.

 

All schools have a statutory duty to promote children and young people’s wellbeing and in 2013 Ofsted expressed concern in its Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education report that the lack of high-quality, age-appropriate SRE in over a third of schools left young people vulnerable to inappropriate sexual behaviours and exploitation.

 

The Department for Education (DfE) also states that PSHE is an important and necessary part of all pupils' education and goes on to note that schools should seek to use PSHE education to build, where appropriate, on the statutory content already outlined in the national curriculum, the basic school curriculum and in statutory guidance on sex and relationship education (SRE).

 

The National Association for Head Teachers (NAHT) highlight that young people successfully attaining five or more GCSEs A - C is strongly associated with higher levels of life satisfaction among young people. Ofsted has also identified a strong correlation between schools that achieve a high grade for PSHE and those that were graded outstanding for overall effectiveness.

 

I have facilitated groups and delivered sessions addressing these issues in educational and youth settings since 2009. Hard hitting and challenging issues are highlighted and it is often easier for both the boys and the professionals within the setting when the sessions are delivered by an outside professionals specialising in these areas.

 

I am able to provide high quality input which makes effective use of PSHE and meets the following statutory outcomes outlined in the national curriculum:

  • Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society

  • Prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

  • Promote children and young people’s wellbeing (Wellbeing is defined in the Children Act 2004 as the promotion of physical and mental health; emotional wellbeing; social and economic wellbeing; education, training and recreation; recognition of the contribution made by children to society; and protection from harm and neglect.)

  • Over the years I have found that a number of available resources and sessions delivered to children are not accessible to or inclusive of boys with the focus predominantly being on girls. This often results in boys believing that these issues do not apply to them.

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  • By having a boy only sessions/groups and using resources with male characters, I find that boys are more able to relate to the content and engage in sessions giving them a chance to challenge myths and stereotypes relating to masculinity and gender.

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