Mental health and wellbeing of pupils will be at the heart of every single school in Knowsley, after all the borough’s primary and secondary schools signed up to work towards a ‘Wellbeing Award’.
It will see the schools work their way through a specially designed framework emotional wellbeing and mental health, developed by the National Children’s Bureau and delivered by Optimus Education. It is a nationally recognised programme and supported by charities such as the Anna Freud Centre, Young Minds, Heads Together and the Time to Change mental health campaign.
Once they’ve completed the framework, each school will achieve recognition confirming that they apply a ‘Whole School approach to Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health’, and receive a Wellbeing Award.
How will schools earn their Wellbeing Awards?
Working towartds the award will help schools make sure they have effective practices and provision in place to promote the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both staff and pupils. It is designed to help change the long-term culture of a school and embed an ethos where mental health is seen as everyone’s responsibility.
Schools will need to demonstrate their commitment to:
· Promoting mental health as part of every day school life.
· Improving the emotional wellbeing of their staff and pupils.
· Ensuring mental health problems are identified early and providing appropriate support.
· Offering support that matches the needs of pupils and staff.
· Raising awareness of how important mental health is.
· Asking parents, pupils and teachers for their opinions on mental health issues.
Positive mental health and wellbeing can help pupils’ performance, too
Sarah McNulty, Acting Director of Public Health in Knowsley, said “By working through the framework, strengths and areas for improvement can be identified, which can then be addressed by intervention programmes, staff development and working with external health and social care partners. Good luck!”
Colette Dutton, Knowsley Council’s Executive Director for Children, added “I’m delighted that our primary and secondary schools are taking part. Enhancing a young person’s wellbeing can improve attainment, reduce exclusions, re-engage students who have experienced problems, build good relationships, as well as attracting and retaining staff and raising standards across schools. I wish all of our schools well as they work through the Framework.”
Work on the framework began in January 2019 and is expected to take around 12 months to complete.
Support will be provided to the borough’s schools from the National Children’s Bureau and Optimus Education to ensure the schools are progressing well and will achieve the award.