From September 2017, a new Wellbeing Award for Schools, presented by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and Optimus Education Ltd (part of Prospects Services Group), will recognise outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England.
<<< Register now for the Wellbeing Award for Schools. >>>
An NCB survey in 2016 showed many school leaders reported dramatic increases in the number of students suffering from mental health and wellbeing issues over the past five years. More than half (55%) said there had been a large increase in anxiety or stress, and over 40% reported a big increase in the problem of cyberbullying. Nearly eight out of ten (79%) reported an increase in self harm or suicidal thoughts amongst students.
This new award will recognise schools that embed a culture which values the happiness and emotional welfare of all its pupils. Both the Department for Education and Ofsted have supported this approach, stressing that promoting good mental health is the responsibility of all members of a school community: its staff and governors, parents and pupils, and partner organisations beyond the school gates.
The Wellbeing Award supports schools to create a culture in which mental health can thrive, helping them to:
- Show the school’s commitment to promoting wellbeing as part of day-to-day school life
- Develop a whole school strategy for improving the wellbeing of pupils
- Attract and retain high-quality staff.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau said:
‘Children today face new challenges – such as the demands of 24-hour connectivity on social media, cyber-bullying and sexting. They’re also under huge pressure to do well in exams, in the face of an increasingly competitive jobs market.
‘Time and again research has shown these pressures are resulting in a rising tide of mental health issues amongst the young. But as well as helping those with problems, we need to create a positive climate where wellbeing and happiness can bloom. For schools, this means ensuring that mental health is everyone’s business. We’re so excited that this award will recognise schools who’ve risen to the challenge, and are making pupil wellbeing a priority.’
Andrew Thraves, Director of Education for Prospects Services group, said:
'I am delighted that Optimus Education Ltd is partnering with the National Children's Bureau on the development of the Wellbeing Award for Schools.
‘Pupil wellbeing at school is quite rightly a major concern for teachers and parents. Our new Award for schools provides a robust and rigorous framework that will enable senior leaders, teachers and other school staff to demonstrate that they take the wellbeing of their pupils seriously.
‘Our partnership with NCB on the conception, design and development of the Award means that the framework is underpinned by a thorough research and evidence base, and its delivery in school is supported by a national network of highly-skilled advisers.'
The Wellbeing Award for Schools launches in September, but schools can register now.
In association with the launch of the award, Optimus Education Ltd will be running the 11th Annual Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools Conference in London 8th November and Manchester 23rd November where Matthew Dodd, Principal Officer at NCB, is speaking about the award in a keynote speech.