Ofsted and Mental Health Provisions in Schools

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.

For Example:

  • 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’.

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