Parents/caregivers are welcome to phone and make an appointment with Sara or one of the counsellors on placement. If we are not available, please either email or leave a message on the answer phone and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Because we make every attempt to work transparently with students in the interests of building a trusting relationship, we would prefer that you discuss the fact that you have called with your son or daughter.


Selwyn College has an active and vibrant Counselling Department and all students are encouraged to approach the counsellors when they have concerns about any aspects of their lives. Visiting the counsellors is regarded as a proactive and positive way for students to take some responsibility for their own psychological and emotional health. Support staff, teaching staff, Heads of Houses and Senior Leadership are very supportive of the work done in the department and often work in collaboration with the counsellors to support the students and their families. All of these people share a commitment to maintaining an emotionally and socially safe, healthy school. They also recognise that students are much more likely to achieve well when they are settled at school and can access strategies and support to cope with some of the difficulties that may arise. Sara is full time, Claire works three days a week and Corey who works one day is our student counsellor on placement. Both the school counsellors hold post-graduate counselling qualifications and Sara is a full member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) and Claire is a provisional member. All counsellors in the department abide by the NZAC organisation’s Code of Ethics which includes maintaining confidentiality except in cases of imminent and serious risk. Our counsellors have regular supervision outside the department and are committed to ongoing professional development.
Most years we undertake to supervise a counselling student on placement from one or more tertiary training providers. The student counsellors usually work for one day a week and help out with a number of departmental activities, as well as working on a one-to-one basis with students. The placement students are closely supervised by the HOD and spend some time observing the counsellor at work and participating in group work.
The counsellors work with individuals, groups, couples, parents or other family combinations. We have established close links with key outside agencies, some of which have representatives who visit the school regularly. These include Kari Centre (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services),  Netsafe, Altered High (Youth branch of Community Alcohol and Drug Services), CYF (Child, Youth and Family) and Seasons (grief and loss group).
Sara and the Heads of House meet regularly to ensure that students who may be experiencing difficulties are not overlooked. Case management meetings are also held and these may involve the SLT member who oversees a particular year group, Head of House, Sara and any other staff who may be involved, e.g. School Nurse, Careers Advisor, Director of Student Pathways.


Sara Anderson: Head of Department 
Full time
Phone: 521 9610 ext 655
Claire Seel
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
Phone: 521 9610 ext 654
Counsellors on Placement 2016
Corey Tau - Tuesday


Particular care is taken to minimise the possibility of bullying throughout the school. Strategies currently in place include:
  • Students are encouraged to notify a Counsellor, Mentor Teacher or Head of House if they are being bullied so that the issue can be talked through and a way found of addressing the problem. The Health and Safety Policy can be viewed on the school website at Governance/Policies/Section 5: Health and Safety.
  • Members of the Selwyn College R (Restorative) Team are available during class time or breaks to meet with students and help them find a way through existing or potential conflict. They assist with class circles, visit junior classes, explain the benefits of restoration of relationships and facilitate mediations where appropriate. They also explain to students how to access mediation and R Team services. 
  • Sara regularly ensures that the risk of cyber bullying is minimised. Links are posted on this website to various organisations that can help with bullying and other issues.
  • The school has established links with Netsafe and can consult with this organisation when issues arise.