Tips for Leaders: 15. Mental Health and Wellbeing

Apr 30, 2024 | Blogs

Tips for Leaders: 15. Mental Health and Wellbeing

Apr 30, 2024 | Blogs

“A healthy school ensures that when pupils are unhappy, anxious, disturbed or depressed there are open channels for them to seek or be offered support, without stigma and with appropriate confidentiality. A healthy school actively seeks to promote emotional health and well-being and helps pupils to understand their feelings”.

Mental health and wellbeing promote school success and improvement. Including through:

  • contributing positively to priorities such as enhancing teaching and learning, raising standards, promoting social inclusion and improving behaviour and attendance;
  • involving pupils more fully in the operation of the school;
  • helping pupils and staff feel happier, more confident and more motivated;
  • helping to meet legal, ethical and curricular obligations;
  • involving parents in supporting their children.

 When pupils are happy and motivated, they clearly can get more out of life. They:

  • are more engaged in the learning process;
  • concentrate and learn better;
  • have improved attainment;
  • have a higher-esteem and confidence;
  • have a say in what happens at school;
  • have improved behaviour and attendance.

When staff are happy and motivated, they too can get more out of their work life. They:

  • have good morale;
  • have lower absenteeism;
  • have positive and effective relationships with pupils;
  • teach effectively.

The following is a list of possible vehicles to promote mental health and wellbeing:

  • welcome days and transition events;
  • strong school ethos and values which empowers tolerance and respect, including respect for and celebration of difference and diversity;
  • high profile of anti-bullying procedures and policy;
  • democratic process for the election of school council representatives;
  • consulting pupils about change and policy development;
  • pupils taking roles of responsibility throughout school;
  • parent questionnaires;
  • parents’ workshops / information evenings based on curriculum areas;
  • regular communication and involvement over pupil progress, behaviour and pastoral issues;
  • forum groups to discuss new initiatives;
  • recognising the background of individual pupils and their physical, social and emotional needs;
  • consistent support for vulnerable children and those with SEND;
  • an exciting and varied range of extra-curricular events and trips;
  • opportunities for reflection and spiritual development through art, literature, Religious Education and Collective worship;
  • involving all staff in decision making and proposed change;
  • consultation on training and support needs through regular review;
  • regular review of staff workload to ensure a healthy work-life balance;
  • robust Performance management systems.

This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer. 

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