Article Date: 01 November 2023
Article Date: 01 November 2023
Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form scoops pioneering mental health award
Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form has achieved the School Mental Health Award, which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. We have been awarded a Gold standard for our outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.
Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including a wide range of additional support for students, from counselling to garden therapy and art interventions. Dedicated space within the school (both inside and outdoors) has been redecorated and repurposed to prioritise additional help for students and this ensures that mental health and wellbeing are a visible priority. Student prefects from the sixth form promotes mental health and wellbeing across the school.
The school has also trained a significant number of staff as Mental Health First Aiders and Champions, with plans in place to train further staff in these qualifications. The personal development curriculum across the school was highly praised within the feedback from the Carnegie Centre.
Head teacher Miss Margaret Ryan said: “I am extremely proud that the school’s work on mental health and wellbeing for both students and staff has been recognised in this way, in what was an extremely rigorous process. I am delighted that the feedback from the Carnegie Centre has acknowledged the very rapid progress and change in the school in the last twenty months and the accreditation means a great deal.”
A focal point of the school’s mental health and wellbeing provision has been the creation of a directory of interventions for staff, parents and carers and students to refer to when additional support is needed. Equally, the promotion of understanding and knowledge about mental health and wellbeing for all students and staff has been a driving force in the school’s plans.
Miss Margaret Ryan said: “One of the wonderful things that we have seen as we have placed an increased emphasis on mental health and wellbeing has been the increased positivity in feedback from all our stakeholders, students, parents and carers, and staff.’
The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.
The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.
Rachel C. Boyle, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “The achievement of the Mental Health award is a demonstration of the school's significant commitment to improving children's and staff’s mental health and wellbeing. It is also a commitment to developing practices in school that seek to improve awareness and expertise in creating safe and secure learning environments in which all children can truly fulfil their potential. This award is one that all staff can be truly proud of”.
Nationally, more than 1300 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award.
Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”