The Tes reports that schools that effectively tackle mental health issues among pupils and staff will be eligible for the new award.
The scheme, run by the first university centre for mental health in schools, already has 20 participating schools. The centre, which is run by the school of education at Leeds Beckett University, says another 300 schools have expressed interest.
Participating schools are first called on to complete a self-assessment, examining the extent to which they are taking a whole-school approach to mental health.
After this, they will be paired with associates from the centre, who will help them to ensure that they meet a series of criteria:
1. Leadership and strategy: is an understanding of mental health embedded there?
2. Organisational structure: how it affects staff mental health
3. Organisational structure: how it affects pupils’ mental health
4. Support for staff: are proactive steps taken – such as flexible working hours and a reduction in workload – to ensure staff wellbeing?
5. Support for pupils: how much does the school do to promote wellbeing among pupils? How well are staff trained to spot signs of mental ill health in pupils?
Damien Paige, dean of the Leeds Beckett School of Education, said that he hoped schools would apply for the kitemark as a way of showing that they were taking issues of mental health and wellbeing seriously.
“It’s becoming more and more important to parents, when they’re choosing where to send their children, that schools are taking real action around this,” he said.
Professor Paige estimates that the award will take approximately a year to complete. Schools will be awarded either bronze, silver or gold levels, with silver- and gold-level schools invited to offer advice to other schools.
Read more criteria and how to apply Kitemark set to show schools taking mental health ‘seriously’
Will your school be applying? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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