Mental Health Lead
Amwell View School: Mental Health Lead
Neil Ward – Deputy Headteacher
Schools in England are able to decide on the provision of mental health support for their pupils. The Schools Minister has stated that the Government “want to ensure every child is taught about mental wellbeing”, including being taught about the risks of the internet and its potential impact on mental health. The Government has reiterated that although schools play an important part in promoting mental wellbeing, teachers are not mental health professionals, and need backing from a range of specialised services.
Alongside changes to Relationships and Sex Education, the Government announced the introduction of statutory health education in July 2018. Draft statutory guidance on RSE and health education was published, with a consultation on the guidance that was open until 7 November 2018. The statutory guidance is intended to come into force in September 2020, with schools able to implement the changes from September 2019 if they wish. If the draft guidance was adopted as it stands, at primary level children would study issues including:
- the importance of mental well-being alongside physical health
- understanding and discussing emotions
- benefits of physical exercise
- where to seek support
- that it is common to have mental health problems and that these can be resolved with support
Amwell View School recognises the need to continuously adapt and respond to the needs of the children we serve. Considering the points above we will endeavour to work with families, social care and health services to provide the best possible education for the 21stcentury child with special educational needs.
Amwell View has identified a Mental Health Lead who will be responsible for;
1. Promoting Positive Mental Health
- To work with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in setting a culture within the school that values all pupils, allows them to feel a sense of belonging, and makes it possible to express feelings and emotions as appropriate using available communication aids.
- To work with the Senior Leadership Team in setting high expectations for all pupils to have appropriate support that meets needs and encourages positive engagement and progress.
- To work with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that all adults working in the school understand their responsibilities to children whose persistent mental health difficulties mean they need input from health and social care professionals.
- To work with the parents and carers as well as the pupils themselves, ensuring their opinions and views are taken into account.
- To provide continuous professional development for staff to promote the importance of good mental health for all. Clearly signpost that this is the responsibility of all members of school staff and community, informing them about early signs of mental health problems. This will include what is and isn’t a cause for concern, and what to do if they think they spotted a developing problem.
- To work with SLT to develop clear systems and processes to help staff who identify children with possible mental health problems.
- To work with identified professionals to provide interventions for pupils with mental health problems: To asses, to plan, to action and to review.
2. Identification of pupils/families requiring support or intervention
- To use school systems to prioritise pupils whose patterns of attainment, attendance or behaviour might indicate a cause for concern.
- To communicate effectively with parents, class teachers, Key Stage leaders, SLT, PALMS (CAMHS), Community Paediatricians, Educational Phycologists, Therapists, counsellors, STEPS behaviour support team and Tertiary Hospitals to spot where difficult/dangerous or unusual behaviour may have a root cause that needs addressing.
- To closely monitor groups of pupils who are more vulnerable to mental health difficulties, for example looked after children, children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- To work closely with the above professionals using evidence based tools such as behaviour charts, behaviour logs, photo and video evidence where appropriate and the various individual pupil plans that will show the changes in strategies and approaches to support individual needs over time. Plans may include.
- Behaviour Management Plans
- Steps Documents – Roots and Fruits, Risk Management plan
- Anxiety plans and maps
- Sensory Integration Plans
- Pupil profiles
- Communication profile/snap shot
- Care Plans
- To provide appropriate interventions that enable pupils with identified mental health problems to achieve a sociable life.
- To use the Life Skills curriculum in order to highlight contributory factors to mental health problems.
- To develop social skills of pupils with mental health problems. Give pupils opportunities to interact with others in a positive way.
- To work with SLT to provide positive classroom management, effective use of the environment, behaviour analysis and adjust expectations as required to encourage pro social behaviour and positive learning experiences.
- To review sensory integration plan to support pupils to regulate behaviour where mental health interferes with this function.
- To review sensory diet to include regular timetabled physical or therapeutic input (Sensory Lead, Health and Wellbeing TAs, Promoting Independence
- To work with allocated Social Worker or Family Practitioner to support parents with social care package. Attend CIN meetings where possible as the representative from an educational aspect.
- To work closely with Educational Psychologists, Herts Steps behaviour team, PALMS (CAMHS) or Tertiary hospitals to provide detailed and consistent behaviour logs, up to date plans, media evidence where appropriate and to attend meetings to provide a clear perspective of the pupil from Education.
4. Referral and Commissioning
- To link with local, regional and national initiatives, such as Health and Well-being Boards and Healthwatch.
- To refer serious cases to PALMS (CAMHS)
- To support existing pupils under Tertiary Hospitals (The Maudsley Hospital, Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Birmingham Hospital and Public Health England)
- To provide detailed documentary evidence of the symptoms/behaviour.
- To encourage the students and their parents to speak to their GP.
- To engage parents, health and social care in discussions. (CIN, TAC meetings)
- To work with the local specialist PALMS (CAMHS) or Tertiary Hospitals.
- To understand the criteria that will be used by specialist PALMS (CAMHS) or Tertiary Hospitals.
- To have a close working relationship with local PALMS (CAMHS) or Tertiary Hospitals.
- To provide PALMS (CAMHS) or Tertiary Hospitals with detailed information about the history of the pupil, the pupil’s current presentation when in school and effective strategies that have been used.
- Contribute at a leadership level to strategic planning around improving awareness and our provision for pupils with identified mental health problems. Provide appropriate information support to the Headteacher and governing body.
- Promote a positive working ethos by developing support staff in their role and applying staffing policies and procedures equitably.
- Developing mutually beneficial links between the school and the wider community which support pupils to access the wider world.
Amwell View School and Specialist Sports College
Mrs J. S. Liversage B. ED., Dip., B. Phil. (MSI)