Mental health and wellbeing provision in schools

Date: 29.01.2019

Much of the mental health and wellbeing provision identified within the schools’ policies is funded using Pupil Premium allocation. However, schools seem to treating mental health and wellbeing as a way of addressing behaviour management - perhaps more for the benefit of the school, rather than of the children. And are children attracting PP funding those most in need of mental health and wellbeing provision?

 

This review explored the information and policies published on 45 secondary schools, 45 primary schools and 10 special schools’ websites in relation to the extent the published information promoted respectful school communities, and mental health and wellbeing.

Key considerations arising from this research include that:

  • schools would benefit from further awareness, advice and resources to enable stand-alone interventions to be further embedded within coherent whole-school strategies that promote the mental health and wellbeing of all pupils.
  • the mental health needs of pupils with SEN, and how mental health needs can constitute SEN were not consistently addressed across SEN policies. This suggests that training accessed by SENCo’s should emphasise mental health to a greater degree to enable SENCo’s to develop their specialisation in this area further.
  • a number of schools provided generic equality policies citing legislative duties only or policies that were focussed on employment rights. Whilst these schools were operating within the law, there was no evidence that they were promoting a culture of inclusion and tolerance within their policies.
  • most evidence-informed approaches and interventions to promote mental health and wellbeing were identified within schools’ behaviour policies. This indicates that schools were identifying pupils’ additional emotional and psychological needs by the extent of their disruptive behaviour.