Whole School Wellbeing
It is widely known that mental health issues in children and young people are growing, with the following statistics demonstrating why there is an increasing need to focus on wellbeing in schools.
- 1 in 6 children have a probable mental health disorder – equating to five in every classroom
- 50% of all mental health problems develop by the age of 14
- 1 in 4 children and young people show signs of mental health issues
- 75% of children with a diagnosable mental health issue do not get the support they require.
We believe that, a whole school commitment and creating a positive wellbeing culture, rather than piecemeal interventions, are the key to helping children and young people reach their potential. Done well, a focus on well-being can increase attainment, build relationships, improve attendance amongst staff and students, and raise standards across the setting.
A whole-school approach means making wellbeing everyone’s business. It involves all parts of the school working together to develop a positive culture; involving governors, senior leaders, staff, parents and carers, pupils and the wider community.
To be effective positive mental health should be a thread running through a school’s values and mission statement and be prominent across all policies and procedures.
The process of developing a positive wellbeing culture involves four key phases. However, it must be noted that these are not separate programmes, but form a holistic approach to analysing need, embedding programmes and monitoring effectiveness.
Phase One – Scoping
- Assessing current provision and defining wellbeing in your setting
- Undertaking a wellbeing audit with staff and students
- Identifying concerns, challenges and opportunities
- Developing a wellbeing action plan
Phase Two – Operational Implementation
- Raising awareness amongst all staff – making it everyone’s business
- Empowering staff to develop early intervention programmes and sharing good practice
Phase Three – Programme Delivery
- Implementing the strategy – whole school and targeted interventions
- Cascading knowledge
- Self-Help Tools
Phase Four – Quality Assurance
- Impact measurement and wellbeing standards
- Clinical assessment
- On-going monitoring and evaluation
- Sharing good practice
The focus of the consultation process is on phase one, which will help inform the elements of phase two-four.
‘Your consultation was very supportive and positive. There is a clear air of being supportive across the school and we have had our first mini whole staff sharing meeting. The school so far is calmer!’ – Headteacher, Primary school
These eight core principles are designed to promote wellbeing in schools and colleges using a holistic approach to addressing needs. They form the basis of both evaluating provision and developing your action plan.
What does the consultation involve
Our approach consists of four half day sessions as shown below, using the Theory of Change as a model to refine and enhance the effectiveness of new strategies. It also helps communicate what it does and how it has an impact, as well as forming the first step in evaluating success.
- Half Day Consultation – with senior staff and governors to understand what we are trying to achieve and why, as well as undertaking a self-assessment of provision
- Online surveys given to staff and pupils
- Half Day – Focus groups with staff and students to identify needs
- Half day – strategy consultation with senior staff and governors to analyse findings and develop an action plan linked to the School Improvement Plan
- Half Day – report written with recommendations and links to other resources
Cost: From £600 (individual schools) or £400 each (for groups of 6 or more schools)
The outcomes for my school
- Improves pupil and staff self-confidence, resilience and mental health.
- Reduces the need for clinical intervention – cutting costs
- Ensuring provision is needs-led and evidence based
- Improves educational outcomes.
- Creates a positive wellbeing culture, helping to reduce behavioural problems
- Increases staff retention rates and reduces stress
- Demonstrates commitment to adhere to professional and government guidance
- Saves you time and effort and ensures you receive the latest advise and resources
- Allows you to learn from best practice