State of Education Report 2017 state-of-education-booklet-Final-WEB - Page 28

What interventions, if any, has your school put in place to support pupils’ wellbeing? Working with parents 66% Counselling 58% Nominated staff member as a ‘mentor’ 57% Staff training to identify early indicators of mental health 57% Revision groups/clubs during assessment periods 55% General awareness-raising for pupils 51% Extra-curricular social activities 48% General awareness-raising for parents 42% Peer mentoring 36% Relaxation activities 35% Other – 7% None – 2% How are school leaders supporting their pupils? We asked school leaders what they are doing to support pupils’ wellbeing. In two-thirds (66%) of schools, staff are working closely with parents. Counselling is also available in just over half (52%) of primary schools and eight in 10 (83%) secondary schools, reflecting the higher levels of social, emotional and mental health issues that school leaders are witnessing among their pupils. “The only reason our children remain motivated is the dedication of our teaching staff.” Comments about the efforts of school staff to support pupil mental health are striking. One school leader notes that the School leader only reason children remain motivated is the dedication of the teaching staff, and another places any improvement in pupil attributes to the school’s “dedicated leadership team with a clear vision and strong backbone who are determined to do what is right for the children”. Our data bears this out: 57% of schools have trained staff to identify early indicators of poor mental health, and the same proportion has put in place nominated staff mentors to support pupils. Staff mentors are particularly common in secondary schools, with 75% putting this intervention in place alongside 54% of primary settings. Comments also reflect widespread concern over the impact of the assessment system in primary schools. One school leader calls for the government to acknowledge the links between increased emotional health issues in young people and a wholesale change to the curriculum, without the necessary funding to support these changes. In the bid to address examination-related stresses, schools are running revision groups and clubs during assessment periods: this is happening in nearly nine in 10 (87%) secondary schools and nearly half (49%) of primary schools. Resilience groups, one-to-one interventions for anxiety/stress, and mindfulness groups are just some of the other structured interventions in place in schools across the country. STATE OF EDUCATION 2017 | WWW.STATEOFED.THEKEYSUPPORT.COM PAGE 28