Good mental health is the foundation to young people achieving their aspirations. There have been changes to the Ofsted common inspection framework, and these are centered on emotional wellbeing.
Additions to the framework include personal development, behaviour, welfare and mental health. More specifically the framework references the essential components of emotional wellbeing such as relationships, self-disciplined, self-confidence, self-efficacy, communication skills, positive mind-set and attitude.
Specifically the guidelines state:
- In order for schools to gain good status pupils must ‘enjoy learning about how to stay healthy and about emotional and mental health, safe and positive relationships’.
- To be outstanding schools must enable students to be able to ‘make informed choices about healthy eating, fitness and their emotional and mental wellbeing’.
The new framework recognises that it is important to continue to support individual students with specific behavioural and mental health needs but there is also a need to create a culture that fosters emotional wellbeing and resiliency within the school. Consequently, ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools commit to helping students develop personal skills, employability skills and achieve academically.
Creating a Emotional Wellbeing Friendly Culture
To do this effectively schools are encouraged to raise awareness and provide a range of support that fosters emotional wellbeing within the educational environment. Creating and sustaining a culture that supports emotional wellbeing can be done by working creatively.
- Creating a environment that is well sign posted, therapeutic and accessible.
- Working directly with students and parents/caregivers.
- Working directly with teachers by providing training & quality supervision.
- Facilitating group work & peer support sessions.
- Providing consultation support to Senior Leadership Teams.
- Embedding emotional wellbeing principles within policies.
- Liaising with external agencies such as CAMHS & GPs.
- Embedding emotional wellbeing teaching within the curriculum.
This ultimately can help to create a culture that promotes and supports emotional and mental health needs. This is also known as ‘a whole school approach to mental health’.
Our Unique Whole School Approach
Our Mind Space™ services create a whole school approach, and embeds into the curriculum and other initiatives that encourage achievement. We work in collaboration with the school and deliver evidence- based psychological interventions (i.e. CBT, DBT, family based interventions) that are recognised by Department for Education, Public Health England and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Our multi-component strategy enables us to live by our values:
- We empower individuals and the system to create the whole school approach that meets their needs.
- We are inclusive, so we will work closely with the people and systems influencing young people’s lives.
- We are flexible and creative. We are responsive to the needs of young people, teachers, systems and caregivers.
- We will embed our excellence value by providing a first class transparent service and support systems that enable the school to evaluate their work.
This approach is desirable for creating a culture that supports the learning and development of student’s emotional wellbeing. This type of bespoke intervention will also be able to be assessed positively by Ofsted.
Here are some resources for schools to give you more information on the importance of promoting mental health, and how you can be ‘Ofsted ready’.