Heathfield gains DfE support as research partner in student wellbeing

17th May

In the context of Mental Health Awareness Week and further to ongoing work promoting student health and wellbeing, Heathfield Community College has received a DfE supported grant to be research partners as part of the Education for Wellbeing programme.

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFC) has been commissioned by the Department for Education to deliver the Education for Wellbeing programme. This programme will implement and evaluate mental health interventions across mainstream primary and secondary schools with the aim of contributing to the evidence-base for school-based mental health support. Schools had to apply and be selected to be part of the research project which will run in schools from June 2018 – February 2020.

Heathfield Community College already has a track record of developing mental health awareness through a programme of tutor time and assembly programmes for all year groups, as well as being integral in the spiral PSHEe curriculum. Pastoral staff are trained by CAMHS and Young Minds to be able to provide support for students and student leaders act as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors developing awareness and resources for improving and strengthening mental health awareness. Innovative practises this year at the College have also seen students and parent mindfulness programmes enabling the wider community awareness to be developed.

Requirements of schools will vary depending on which group they are randomly allocated to but could involve participating in programmes developing mental health awareness that deliver mindfulness-based skills, relaxation-based skills or within the context of developing safety behaviours and awareness of support networks.

Headteacher at Heathfield Community College, Ms Caroline Barlow commented: “We are delighted at this opportunity to be part of national research on this important issue. We seek to enable students to develop into healthy and successful young people who can go on to thrive in their future lives. This is just another example of the College using research and best practise to continually enhance and improve what we do”