Training launched for mental health leads in schools

Pupils in up to 7,800 schools and colleges will benefit from a trained senior mental health lead tasked with identifying those who need support and improving access to specialist services.

The government has said that eligible schools and colleges will be able to apply for a grant of £1,200, which can be used to enable senior leaders to gain the knowledge and skills they need to roll out an effective ‘whole school or college approach’ to mental health and wellbeing, embedding it into their culture and making it a priority alongside academic recovery.

£9.5 million, first announced in May, will enable new training on how to use existing mental health resources more effectively, identify students who need mental health support, and on how to improve working with local mental health services so that children and young people who need specialist help, get this as soon as possible.

More teachers and education leaders are also set to benefit from improved guidance on developing good mental health practices, as the Department for Education, Public Health England, and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition publish a new edition of guidance on taking a whole school and college approach to mental well-being.

Will Quince, Minister for Children and Families, said: “I’m always impressed by the resilience and tenacity of our young people, but we know they have faced huge challenges during the pandemic so we owe it to them to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing as we build back better.

“This training is part of the £17 million package we’ve put in place to build on the mental health support available in schools, which also includes work to help education staff respond to children who may have experienced trauma, anxiety, or grief. Today marks an important step forward in our commitment to making wellbeing a central part of education recovery, by giving school and college staff the confidence to not only teach about good mental health but also understand what steps to take if they feel a pupil is struggling.”