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Make the wellbeing of all within your school community a priority.
There is a growing mental health crisis in our schools. An estimated three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem, rising to one in four when we include emotional distress.
In fact, 90% of school leaders have reported an increase in the number of students experiencing anxiety or stress over the last five years.
Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life…
However, despite the known benefits of good wellbeing provision, at present the education system is unbalanced. There is too much emphasis on academic attainment and not enough focus on promoting the wellbeing of students.
Add to this the increasing demands on the teaching profession…
Pressure to meet targets related to pupil attainment is taking a heavy toll on the teaching profession. Despite Ofsted committing to more light touch inspections to reduce stress, the Guardian teacher network have reported increased instances of poor mental health and low morale.
A recent poll conducted by the network also found that 79% of schools were struggling to recruit or retain teachers, whilst 43% of the state school teachers polled were planning to leave the profession in the next five years. Furthermore, the National Union of Teachers found that a staggering 93% of teachers agreed that their stress levels ‘sometimes impact’ on the way they interact with pupils.
… and that teachers feel ill-equipped to promote the emotional wellbeing of their students
In June 2015, the Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey reported that two thirds of teachers felt they lacked the appropriate training to help identify mental health issues in pupils. Just 32% felt they had received appropriate mental health awareness training for their job role, and over half of teachers named training on mental health and wellbeing as one of the most useful strategies a school can employ to support pupils’ mental health. Indeed, a recent survey of primary head teachers found that less than 40% felt confident that their staff would know how to respond if a pupil had a mental health crisis.
Teachers want to be able to promote the emotional wellbeing of their pupils, but need the training and support to do so.
So how can we help you to instil a school culture which promotes the wellbeing of all students and staff?
Work towards a state of organisational wellbeing with Dr. Max Coates, who has developed a Wellbeing model (click here to download the model) and a powerful set of tools to assist school leaders in assessing their approach to wellbeing. Begin your journey by completing our Wellbeing Evaluation Framework. This will signpost you to assess your areas of strength as well as those areas of practice where further development is required.
Following on from this reflective exercise, you will have the opportunity to engage with our expert, Dr Max Coates who will offer his professional judgements through support, challenge and guidance.
In addition, Max has produced a range of practical solutions to overcome any issues that are highlighted as you work through the self-evaluation process. These are in the form of series of action plans with success criteria and high-quality resources and suggestions for further reading.
Citations - https://youngminds.org.uk/media/1428/wise-up-prioritising-wellbeing-in-schools.pdf