Mental Health and wellbeing at Hodge Clough Primary School 2018/19
Hodge Clough Primary School has an important role to play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, by developing approaches tailored to the particular needs of our pupils.
All schools are under a statutory duty to promote the welfare of their pupils, which includes : preventing impairment of children’s health or development, and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. Full details are set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance.
Early intervention to identify issues and provide effective support is crucial.
Our role in supporting and promoting mental health and wellbeing can be summarised as:
Prevention: creating a safe and calm environment where mental health problems are less likely, improving the mental health and wellbeing of the whole school population, and equipping pupils to be resilient so that they can manage the normal stress of life effectively. This will include teaching pupils about mental wellbeing through the curriculum and reinforcing this teaching through school activities and ethos;
Identification: recognising emerging issues as early and accurately as possible;
Early support: helping pupils to access evidence based early support and interventions; and
Access to specialist support: working effectively with external agencies to provide swift access or referrals to specialist support and treatment.
There are two key elements that can enable us to reliably identify children at risk of mental health problems.
• effective use of data so that changes in pupils’ patterns of attainment, attendance or behaviour are noticed and can be acted upon; along with
• an effective pastoral system so that at least one member of staff (e.g. a form tutor or class teacher) knows every pupil well and has received training to spot where bad or unusual behaviour may have a root cause that needs addressing. Where this is the case, the mental health lead, pastoral system (including school nurses) or school policies should provide the structure through which staff can escalate the issue and take decisions about what to do next. This system should also provide the opportunity for pupils to seek support in a confidential way.
When we suspect that a pupil is having mental health difficulties, we look at putting support in place, using the graduated response process:
• an assessment is used to establish a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs (initially SDQ) ;
• a plan to set out how the pupil will be supported;
• action to provide that support; and
• regular reviews to assess the effectiveness of the provision and lead to changes where necessary.
Over the academic year 2018 a Mental Health policy for Hodge Clough Primary was devised which encompasses our vision for staff and pupils as well as an initial action plan which identifies targets and processes for the forthcoming years.