Whole School Approach
‘In a whole school approach, wellbeing and mental health are everyone's business,’ with genuine engagement across the entire community: staff, pupils, governors, parents and external services. The approach involves multiple components including early identification and intervention; staff wellbeing and development; and skills-based work for pupils, but above all it adopts a positive and universal focus on wellbeing.
Why have a whole school approach?
- Improved pupil wellbeing
- Improved staff wellbeing and retention
- Improved academic learning
- Strong link to improving school’s overall effectiveness
- Development of social and emotional skills
- Prevention of MH problems
- Improved school behaviour - reduction in fights, bullying, exclusions and absence
Gloucestershire resource: Nurturing Schools and Colleges
GHLL worked with partners to produce the Nurturing Schools and Colleges: Whole School Approaches to Supporting Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing resource.
A whole-school approach is the best way to bring about changes to policy and practice to ensure everyone is fully on board, from governors to classroom assistants. The research tells us that a whole school commitment and ethos, rather than piecemeal approaches, are key to making a difference. This resource seeks to bring together the wealth of available materials, information and research regarding whole-school approaches to supporting wellbeing, so that senior leaders and practitioners working with young people can see a comprehensive overview of what they can do at whole school level to foster relationships, support children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, and also where support can be sought if needed.
Since 2014, the Partnership for Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools has produced a number of consultation responses to new and proposed legislation, briefing documents and resources for schools, as well as the Whole School Approach framework which has since been adopted in schools across the country. These resources support practitioners to understand, embed and assess a whole school approach in their schools and colleges:
- Self-assessment and improvement tool for school leaders
- RHSE Guidance for Schools consultation joint response (2018)
- What works? Wellbeing in Schools Guidance (2015)
- Whole School Approach supporting resources for school leaders (2016)
- Whole School Approach self-assessment and improvement tool (2016)
- Policy briefing on wellbeing and mental health in schools (2014)
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