Stockland Green School’s Mission to Support Mental Health
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to his or her community. (World Health Organisation; WHO 2014).
Stockland Green School is dedicated to promoting positive mental health for all our students. We continuously strive to identify early indicators of poor mental health and respond promptly. We implement practical, relevant, and effective mental health procedures to ensure a safe environment for our students ensuring the best possible educational outcomes for every student.
Our priority is to fulfil our statutory obligation to promote the welfare of children. We are committed to preventing any potential harm to the mental and physical development of our children, as outlined in the Keeping Children Safe in Education guidelines.
Staff Roles and Responsibilities
Staff members have a crucial role in promoting positive mental health. It is our collective responsibility to identify early warning signs and to ensure students receive the appropriate support. If necessary, we will refer students to key members of staff who have specific roles in addressing mental health needs.
- Senior Mental Health Lead – Mrs Goode
- Strategic Lead for Social, Emotional, and Mental Health – Miss Bowen
- Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding – Mr Beeston
- Deputy Designated Lead for Safeguarding – Miss Beech
- PSHE Lead – Miss Lee
- Special Education Needs and Disabilities Co-Ordinator (SENDco)- Mrs Gatford
- Pastoral Leaders – Mr Birch (Rae), Miss Blanchette (Cole), Miss Connaire (Tame)
- PRIDE Support Team – Mrs Sims, Miss Morgan and Miss Bowen
Within the staff body we have four qualified mental health first aiders and many of our teachers and support staff continue to seek further and ongoing training.
Our school is committed to providing an inclusive curriculum that helps students develop emotional regulation skills and prioritise their mental and physical health through the curriculum, form time take overs, assemblies, wellbeing weeks and the wider opportunities we provide. For example, students will learn about the importance of sleep, exercise, and healthy eating, as well as strategies for managing their emotions and seeking support. Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Relationship, Sex, and Health Education (RSE) will address the specific concerns of each cohort. In addition to the curriculum, our assembly programme will promote good mental health and resilience and inform students.
We believe that personal development plays a crucial role in building resilience and confidence among our students. To achieve this, we encourage our students to participate in various personal development opportunities and school projects. Additionally, we ensure that relevant staff members are well-trained to teach mental health and relationships, sex, and health education confidently, following the guidelines set by the PSHE Association.
Whole School Ethos and Environment
Creating a positive and emotionally secure classroom environment is crucial to fostering good behaviour and promoting a healthy school culture. At Stockland Green School, we are committed to being a Trauma-Informed School, and our staff prioritise the welfare and safety of all our students. We make reasonable adjustments to the classroom environment to help students who may be struggling with their mental health to succeed academically and personally. We take great pride in providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all our students.
As a student, it’s important to feel safe and supported at school, therefore we continually strive to create an environment where all students can feel a sense of belonging and are encouraged to talk openly about mental health. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying and a clear system of rewards and consequences to ensure that everyone feels respected and valued.
We recognise the cumulative effect of risk factors and the protective factors that support good mental health and well-being. For students who require additional help, early intervention and support, strategies are available in school with additional referrals to outside agencies will be actioned where necessary.
Ref: Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools (Nov 2018); Department for Education
Early indicators of possible mental problems
All our staff are trained to identify the early signs of mental health issues. Negative experiences and distressing events can impact an individual’s mental health and alter their behaviour. If staff members observe these early indicators, they will take them seriously and report them to the designated individuals responsible for mental health.
Possible warning signs include:
- Changes in activity and mood, such as prolonged feelings of sadness or withdrawal that last for at least two weeks, or severe mood swings.
- Demonstrating a heightened sense of isolation from loved ones and friends, or exhibiting unusual social withdrawal.
- Physical indicators of harm that don’t appear to be accidental.
- Changes in eating habits including excessive unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
- Changes in sleep habits.
- Decline in academic achievements.
- Repeated lateness or absences from school.
- Experiencing recurring physical pain or nausea without any apparent reason.
- Secretive behaviour.
- Engaging in substance abuse through drugs and/or alcohol.
- Avoiding physical education lessons and/or getting changed secretively.
- Fearful, and poor self-esteem.
- Aggressive and/or controlling behaviour.
- Seeking attention or contact without regard for boundaries or appropriateness.
- Over-friendliness or excessive clinginess.
- Sharing feelings of failure, worthlessness, or sadness.
- Unwilling to talk about feelings.
- Finding it hard to concentrate and focus.
We acknowledge that certain students are more susceptible to mental health issues, such as children in care, previously looked after children, Children in Need, families living in poverty, young carers, LGBTQIA+ students, and those with Special Educational Needs. To support these students, we provide in-school assistance and interventions through our teaching staff, inclusion, and pastoral teams.
If any student is facing ongoing mental health challenges that require assistance from the SEND and other inclusive and pastoral departments, the SENDCO will ensure that co-workers understand how the school identifies and meets the needs of students. They will also provide advice and support to colleagues whenever necessary and communicate with external SEND professionals as needed.
We will actively collaborate with our local early help program to showcase useful evidence-supported resources and effective organisations, both locally and nationally, as well as online. We will promote these services through the school website, newsletters, noticeboards, and staff areas.
To prioritise the mental health and wellness of our students proactively, we utilise the screening tools Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the 3 Houses and Letter to Self. These resources enable us to identify any potential risks, past challenges, and initial difficulties that may require support and management. Our goal is to address these concerns before they escalate into crises.
Assessment, intervention, and support
At Stockland Green School, different assessment methods are utilised to cater to students’ needs and provide them with the necessary support. This support may come from within the school or an external specialist service.
At Stockland Green School, our typical graduated response offer is as follows: nb – this will be tailored to meet the individual need of the young person.
|E.G. Educational Psycholgist Involvement, external services, Local Mental Health Sevices such as Forward Thinking Birmingham
|SDQs Risk Assessment Mental Health Safety Plan Identified key worker Emotional Exit pass
|E.G. Access to Resource Base or PRIDE Support 1:1 intervention
|Weekly DSL/SMHL Meeting Provision Map
|E.G. we offer monitoring and check-ins with designated staff members. We also provide a safe place for individuals when needed. Our clubs and activities are targeted to specific interests.
|Ad-hoc check-ins with the students and teacher/staff feedback.
Individual Safety/Care Plan
If a student has been diagnosed with a mental health illness, received support from specialist mental health services, or attempted suicide, it is recommended that an individual safety/care plan is created. The plan should be developed with the student, a parent or carer, and relevant professionals.
The plan should include:
- Details regarding the diagnosis or issue presented by the student.
- Implemented strategies which provide support that can prevent any further damage to the mental health of the student and ensure a safe environment for everyone.
- Whom to contact in an emergency.
- The role of specific staff within the plan.
If a student is facing challenges with their mental well-being, it can be beneficial for their friends to know how they can offer support. Depending on the situation, the pastoral team may arrange for one-on-one or group support sessions where students can receive ideas and suggestions on how to support each other. This will only be done with the consent of the student and parents, if necessary. At Stockland Green, we are pleased to have Well-being and Peer mentors who have been trained to assist their peers during times of transition and difficulty.
If a student is under 16 years old, they must obtain consent from a parent or caregiver before receiving any treatment or interventions. However, if a medical professional determines that the student possesses enough intelligence, competence, and understanding to comprehend the nature of their treatment, they may be considered “Gillick Competent”. If a student is 16 years or older, they are assumed to have the ability to consent to their own medical treatment as well as any related procedures, according to section 8 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.
When implementing a comprehensive approach to mental health in schools, it may be necessary to share information about a student with other staff members. However, it is important to have a conversation with the student beforehand. This conversation should include who will be spoken to, what information will be shared, why it needs to be shared, and what the agreed-upon next steps are.
To ensure consistent care in case of staff absence, mental health disclosures and concerns are shared with the mental health lead, senior designated safeguarding lead, and pastoral team. All disclosures are recorded on the safeguarding platform MyConcern.