Welcome to The Whole School Approach to Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in Education Self-Assessment Tool
This self-assessment toolkit is designed to enable staff in education settings to recognise and reflect on areas in which they are adopting a Whole School Approach to student, family and staff emotional wellbeing, whilst identifying areas for improvement.
How does it work?
Exploring the Whole School Approach model – based on PHE’s whole school review tool to promote children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing – staff will explore and review a range of aspects of school approaches, policies and systems in relation to (click on the segments to reveal further information):
Leadership & management
- Senior staff regularly sit on the headteacher associations and other educational boards.
- Termly network meetings are held for senior WSA leads in schools for updates/communication, co-production and training.
- Resources and training are available to support school leaders to develop their WSA effectively.
- There is also work being done to support senior leaders in school around their emotional health and wellbeing.
- Leadership and management that supports and champions efforts to promote emotional health and wellbeing in staff, pupils and families.
- An effective Whole School Approach (WSA) to mental health and wellbeing begins with a leadership team that make mental health a key priority in their school.
- This can include:
- having a dedicated senior leader driving the WSA;
- developing and embedding a WSA policy; and
- ensuring that pupils and families’ wellbeing is an integral part of their school.
“Leaders in our school promote mental health and wellbeing.”
Curriculum teaching and learning
- Curriculum, teaching and learning to promote resilience and support social and emotional learning and mental health.
- Schools can maximise opportunities within their curriculum, teaching and learning, to promote positive mental health and wellbeing to pupils.
- This could be through both PHSE and considering mental health and wellbeing across the general curriculum, teaching about building resilience in pupils and staff.
“I learn about building resilience and looking after my mental health in my school.”
- Enabling student voices to influence decisions around the WSA to mental health and emotional wellbeing.
- Schools need to allow their pupils to shape their WSA.
- A variety of participation methods can be applied to allow pupils to have their voices heard.
- Schools should consider whether their WSA is culturally sensitive, age-appropriate and accessible to all pupils.
“Staff in our schools listen to our views on mental health.”
- Staff development to support their wellbeing and that of their pupils.
- School staff need to be trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental distress and have basic training to support their pupils.
- They also need appropriate training and support structures to support their emotional health and wellbeing.
“We have processes and policies in place to support our own wellbeing as well as the pupils.”
Parents & carers
- Working with parents/carers to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
- Schools have a role to play with parents and carers to support their emotional wellbeing.
- They also need to recognise the role parents and carers have in supporting their own child’s mental health.
- Schools should consider how their engagement with parents supports those experiencing mental health difficulties.
“My parents get lots of support from my school relating to my mental health and wellbeing.”
Recognising mental health need
- Identifying mental health needs and monitoring the impact of interventions given.
- Key staff in school need to be trained to spot the signs and symptoms of a child or young person in mental distress.
- Schools can develop their own internal graduated approach to help staff to do this. Mental health leads in schools to be aware of services that can offer pupils and their families support.
“Staff in my school know how to spot early signs of mental distress in pupils, and support them.”
- Targeted support for mental health and making appropriate referrals.
- Schools need to be aware of the internal and external support and services available to them to support their pupils’ mental health.
- It is helpful for schools to develop their graduated approach to include any internal support offered and the points at which it would be appropriate to engage with each level of support.
“If we need support for our mental health, there is a clear pathway for us to follow.”
Ethos and environment
- An ethos and environment that promotes respect, values diversity, and makes mental health everyone’s business.
- Good mental health is at the heart of learning and child development. Pupils need to feel a sense of safety and belonging in school if they are to thrive in their education.
- Developing a school environment where it is okay to talk about mental health, feelings and experience both success and failure is key to staff and pupils.
“Mental health is everyone’s business in my school.”
- Being resilient is having the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is a necessary skill for coping with life’s inevitable obstacles and one of the key ingredients to success.
- Although resilience can often be innate, pupils can develop these essential skills through their experiences and the support given.
- The WSA partners provide training around the key elements of resilience and guidance on how to embed these effectively into all aspects of the curriculum, teaching and learning.
Participation & Co-production
- Participation and co-production are at the heart of the WSA partnership.
- There are several participation groups across the city to capture the voice and steer of children, young people, professionals and carers.
- Schools can also utilise peer-to-peer support programs to ensure that pupils have an opportunity to steer and shape mental health support in their school.
- A range of training opportunities is available free of charge to schools on the Anna Freud site.
- Support and information can be found in this resource padlet.
Development of MHLs
- Each school is encouraged to develop mental health lead roles within their staff team.
- The WSA strategic lead should be a member of SLT and will work with staff to develop mental health support across the school.
- The operational designated mental health lead will act as the main contact with Education Mental Health Teams whilst also delivering support directly to pupils.
Mental Health Promotion
- Schools can benefit from a range of training, activities, assemblies, resources and national campaigns to develop awareness around mental health in schools.
- Implementation of the ROAR programme, thrive, and other WSA initiatives can help establish a wellbeing culture within schools.
- Support and information can be found in this resource padlet.
- Internal WSA
- City-wide WSA support
On completion of the assessment, a bespoke evaluation report will outline suggested opportunities to implement new approaches, using tools, training and resources available to education settings. This report can be viewed within your dashboard or downloaded as a PDF.
- To begin your assessment, you need to create a profile by registering (see left).
- You can save your assessment at any stage of the process and continue by logging back into your dashboard anytime. Your progress will be saved automatically.
- There is no limit to the number of assessments you can complete for your setting, but you must fully complete your assessment before you can create a new one.
- Once you have completed an initial assessment you can carry out a new one at any time and compare the results of previous versions to review progress and improvements.