The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Optimus Education

Award scheme recognises schools building better mental health

From September 2017, a new Wellbeing Award for Schools, presented by the National Children’s Bureau and Optimus Education Ltd, will recognise outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England.

 An NCB survey in 2016 showed many school leaders reported a dramatic increase in the number of students suffering from mental health and wellbeing issues over the past five years.

  • More than half (55%) said there had been a large increase in anxiety or stress.
  • Over 40% reported a big increase in the problem of cyberbullying.
  • Nearly eight out of ten (79%) reported an increase in self harm or suicidal thoughts amongst students.

The Wellbeing Award for Schools will recognise schools that embed a culture which values the happiness and emotional welfare of all its pupils. Both the Department for Education and Ofsted support this approach, stressing that promoting good mental health is the responsibility of all members of a school community: its staff and governors, parents and pupils, and partner organisations beyond the school gates.

The Wellbeing Award supports schools to create a culture in which mental health can thrive, helping them to:

  • show the school’s commitment to promoting wellbeing as part of day-to-day school life
  • develop a whole school strategy for improving the wellbeing of pupils
  • attract and retain high-quality staff.

Andrew Thraves, Director of Education for Prospects Services group said:

'I am delighted that Optimus Education Ltd is partnering with the National Children's Bureau on the development of the Wellbeing Award for Schools.

Pupil wellbeing at school is quite rightly a major concern for teachers and parents. Our new award for schools provides a robust and rigorous framework that will enable senior leaders, teachers and other school staff to demonstrate that they take the wellbeing of their pupils seriously.

Our partnership with the NCB on the conception, design and development of the award means that the framework is underpinned by a thorough research and evidence base, and its delivery in school supported by a national network of highly-skilled advisers.' 

Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau said:

‘Children today face new challenges – such as the demands of 24-hour connectivity on social media, cyber-bullying and sexting. They’re also under huge pressure to do well in exams, in the face of an increasingly competitive jobs market.

Time and again research has shown these pressures are resulting in a rising tide of mental health issues amongst the young. But as well as helping those with problems, we need to create a positive climate where wellbeing and happiness can bloom. For schools, this means ensuring that mental health is everyone’s business.

We’re so excited that this award will recognise schools who’ve risen to the challenge, and are making pupil wellbeing a priority.’

Find out more about the Wellbeing Award for Schools today

About the National Children’s Bureau

The National Children’s Bureau is a leading children’s charity working to build a better childhood for every child. We champion children’s right to be safe, secure and supported, by using evidence and our expert knowledge to influence government policy, and help practitioners to do the best job possible, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.

For more information visit www.ncb.org.uk

About Optimus Education Ltd

Optimus Education Ltd (part of Prospects Services Group) is a leading provider of professional development support and school improvement services for schools, academies and other educational institutions. Since 1997 we have been helping primary and secondary school leadership teams to manage staff development efficiently and effectively, stay compliant and drive whole school improvement.

For more information visit www.optimus-education.com

 

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