Saturday 25th February 2017

What's New

NEWS: Farnborough gets AcSEED Award

24th July 2016

Congratulations to The Sixth Form College Farnborough in Hampshire ...

NEWS: The AcSEED Newsletter

12th June 2016

Read The AcSEED Newsletter for June 2016.

NEWS: Beacon PRU gets AcSEED Award

25th March 2016

Congratulations to The Beacon PRU in Redditch, Worcestershire ...

NEWS: Lordswood get AcSEED Award

25th March 2016

Congratulations to Lordswood Girls' School in Harborne, Birmingham ...

NEWS: Cedars Upper get AcSEED Award

25th March 2016

Congratulations to Cedars Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire ...


The AcSEED Newsletter

June 2016

Editorial

Welcome to the AcSEED Newsletter for Summer Term 2016, a time when students, parents, and teachers will no doubt be feeling a little more stressed than usual. We were therefore delighted to attend an evening event organised by Crofton School in Hampshire aimed at providing parents and pupils with information about recognising and coping with anxiety. In this newsletter we will explore the motivations that lie behind the AcSEED criteria of ‘Working with Parents’, and highlight some of the school initiatives addressing these needs.

It’s been another busy period for AcSEED with 3 more schools achieving AcSEED accreditation (see details below). We are particularly pleased to see increasing evidence that the AcSEED assessment criteria, with its ability for wellbeing provisions to be tailored to local circumstances, is proving to be robust across a wide range of educational settings. Accredited schools already range from large sixth form colleges to small special needs establishments, cover age ranges from 4 through to 25, and are located across 5 different UK counties.

A key aim of AcSEED is to share good practice in emotional wellbeing support between schools and colleges. In this newsletter Trinity School and College, who received AcSEED accreditation in 2015, highlight some provisions they have found helpful in supporting pupil wellbeing.

In April AcSEED was pleased to meet with the Red Lipstick Foundation (http://www.theredlipstickfoundation.org), a Hampshire-based charity that provides support to families that have been affected by suicide. They are now aiming to extend their provisions to wellbeing and mental health education in schools. The AcSEED wellbeing framework is designed to allow such organisations to structure their services in a way that directly supports educational organisations to satisfy the requirements for AcSEED accreditation.

If you would like to submit an article, letter, or notification of a future event to the AcSEED Newsletter please see the contact details below.

The AcSEED Leadership Team

AcSEED News

More Schools and Colleges receive AcSEED Accreditation

Many congratulations to the following schools and colleges that have recently achieved AcSEED accreditation:

  • Cedars Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
  • Lordswood Girls' School in Harborne, Birmingham
  • The Beacon PRU in Redditch, Worcestershire

AcSEED founder Charlotte Gatherer noted that all of these organisations had demonstrated a strong commitment towards the emotional wellbeing and mental health of their students, and have implemented a range of innovative and effective wellbeing provisions.



Lordswood

Head Teacher of The Beacon PRU, Mrs Lesley Hatton, receives The AcSEED Award on behalf of the school.

Cedars
Beacon



Wellbeing Support at Trinity School and College, Rochester, Kent

By: Mrs Elizabeth Baines, Executive Head Teacher

Trinity School and College has enjoyed a period of change and development in its provision of Emotional Wellbeing support for young learners. Most learners who attend Trinity have suffered significant difficulties with social and emotional challenges. This was recently recognised by the AcSEED award achieved in November 2015 to the delight of parents, students and staff.

Trinity

Executive Head Teacher Elizabeth Baines (left) receives the award from AcSEED principal assessor Helen Galsworthy.

So how did this change impact so positively on learners, parents and staff? Students are taught within a holistic approach and have access to personalised curriculum pathway which includes Personal and Social Development, Certificate of Personal Effectiveness and Key Skills for life within ASDAN. These programmes have been able to show clear progression with their emotional intelligence and resilience, which are being identified by examination boards, parents and most importantly the learners.

The school provides a team of professionals who have completed training in Mental Health, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Anger Management, Mentoring and Mindfulness and together with providing access to this CPD for those who work in the educational sector of the school and college. Excellence has been achieved with close working collaboration with agencies and organisations who support Emotional Wellbeing practices within the community both to enhance our knowledge and understanding as well as ensuring the commitment to a person centred approach.

Trinity encourages close working relationships with parents, and have engaged parents in the reviewing of policies around Mental Health, Emotional Wellbeing and Behaviour to name a few.

A key aspect of dealing with young people with mental health and emotional wellbeing challenges, is to create an atmosphere and environment where learners feel that they can be accepted, understood and supported. Trinity does this through its commitment to the holistic approach to the curriculum, the provision of boards which provide information about support for mental health and emotional issues and a supportive family feel to the educational facility. The development of the student voice beyond the traditional 'school council' has ensured that learner's feel valued and most importantly listened to within Trinity.

As a result of AcSEED and listening to the voice of learners, Trinity has now developed the creation of therapy garden with communication hotspots, quiet areas and wildlife section. Whilst achieving the AcSEED did not make us a better provision, it is valued as an award because it has enabled us to reflect on our practice, set clear targets for sustaining and improving our provision and has acknowledged our commitment to our vulnerable young people.



Engaging Governors in Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

Hants Gov

As part of its whole school approach, AcSEED promotes the need for school governors to be actively engaged with the wellbeing needs of both staff and students. They should play a key role in putting relevant and effective policies in place, and in supporting the leadership team to ensure that wellbeing is embedded into the ethos of the organisation.

The ‘Hampshire Governor’, a newsletter which informs and supports governors in the region, recently included a three-page report on ‘schools and mental health’. The report leads with an article on The AcSEED Initiative and an interview with AcSEED founder Charlotte Gatherer. It also includes a review of the wellbeing approach at Horndean Technology College which was the first organisation to achieve AcSEED accreditation, and a personal account from a current Hordean student which describes their wellbeing experience at college.

This edition of Hampshire Governor can be found at: http://swanmore-school.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Hampshire-Governor-Final-Spring-2016.pdf.



Focus on AcSEED assessment criteria: ‘Working with Parents’

The AcSEED assessment criteria are partitioned into a number of different areas which reflects the need for a whole school approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health support. In this article we examine the criteria of ‘Working with Parents’ (“parent” used to signify both parents and carers).

One of the key aims of The AcSEED Award is to provide a simple indicator that enables parents to identify schools that have excellent mental health and wellbeing support. The AcSEED criteria also recognises that emotional wellbeing must be supported through both the home and school environment, and that a collaborative approach can be mutually beneficial. Schools can facilitate the dissemination of emotional wellbeing information and support advice, and can initiate targeted communication on specific wellbeing issues if/when appropriate (and whilst respecting a young person’s right to confidentiality). Parents can provide on-going support, and are well positioned to notice any changes in behaviour that could signify an emerging mental health issue.

Examples of the assessment criteria included within this AcSEED category include:

  • The school informs parents of emotional wellbeing policies, procedures, and services.
  • The school encourages and values parental involvement in all aspects of student wellbeing.
  • The school offers opportunities for parents to learn about emotional wellbeing and strategies to effectively support their child.

The AcSEED Initiative, together with representatives from CAMHS and Solent MIND, recently attended an evening event for parents and pupils held by Crofton School in Hampshire. The event focussed specifically on anxiety. Presentations highlighted some of the physiological aspects of anxiety which helped to demystify many of the common symptoms, and provided a range of practical suggestions for coping strategies. The event was very well attended, and was an excellent example of a school providing the opportunity for parents and students to enhance their knowledge of this common concern.



New resource addresses the wellbeing impact of acne and other skin conditions

The Spring term newsletter included a blog highlighting the potentially far-reaching impact that acne and other skin conditions can have on a young person’s school life. Michael Willcocks, supported by The British Skin Foundation and the British Association of Dermatologists, has since initiated a project aimed at supporting young people affected by such conditions.

“It is important that teachers understand the specific challenges that students with skin conditions face if they are to offer the right support”, says Michael. ”To help with this, I have produced a downloadable resource, which contains a list of everyday examples of how skin conditions can affect a young person's whole school life.”

These resources, together with more information about the ‘School Derm Time’ initiative, can be found at: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/how-reach-out-teens-acne.



Related News

Conference on Young People’s Wellbeing and Mental Health

Cbg Conf

A conference held recently in Cambridge focussed on the prevention of psychological trauma and disorder in young people via wellbeing and emotional resilience programmes, protocols and technologies, delivered primarily via the education system. Hosted by The MindEd Trust, the event brought together the local health & education system and local community with the national mental health infrastructure and sector leadership. Young people were also well represented.

We were pleased to see many presenters highlighting the importance of wellbeing provisions that are embedded into the AcSEED assessment criteria including a whole school approach to wellbeing, education for students and staff, peer mentoring, early intervention counselling services, and effective relationships with parents/carers and outside agencies.

You can read more about the conference, and access the presentations, at: http://themindedtrust.org/conferences.



All secondary schools should have access to on-site mental health support

A report by The Institute for Public Policy Research has recommended that all secondary schools should be guaranteed access to at least one day per week of on-site mental health support. The think-tank report suggests that secondary schools are well-placed to act as the hubs from which early intervention provision is delivered, but observes that there is significant variation in the availability and quality of school-based early intervention mental health provision.

Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place2Be, a provider of school-based mental health services, said: “By being a trusted and integral part of the school community it is possible to provide an approach which is free from stigma and supports the mental wellbeing of children, parents, teachers and school staff.”

“In this way mental health is part of everyday school life and help is accessible when and where it is needed. By tackling mental health problems early and taking time to develop children’s wellbeing at the earliest possible stage, we avoid needing to deal with more complex and harmful problems later in life. This in turn provides a cost saving to adult mental health services.”

The AcSEED assessment criteria requires that schools and colleges employ (or have regular access to) a counsellor or mental health professional, and a defined referral process.

The IPPR report is available at: http://www.ippr.org/publications/education-education-mental-health.



GP Survey highlights concern that young people’s mental health services are inadequate

Stem4

A survey of 300 GPs has highlighted the growing problem of mental ill health among children aged 11-18, noting large increases in the numbers seeking help. The survey for stem4, a charity aimed at improving teenage mental health, also raises concerns about the availability of mental health services for young people.

Key findings from the survey included:

  • Almost eight in ten GPs said the number of patients experiencing mental health problems had increased over the past five years.
  • Six in ten were seeing more young patients self-harming than five years ago.
  • 85% say children’s mental health services generally are inadequate.
  • Almost nine in ten had concerns about patients coming to harm while waiting for treatment.

The AcSEED wellbeing criteria aims to ensure that schools play an active role in minimising the number of young people needing to access specialist services. This is achieved by promoting the need for strong mental health and wellbeing, and providing targeted services when needed.

The stem4 report can be found at: http://www.stem4.org.uk/images/downloads/a_time_bomb_waiting_to_explode_stem4_press_release.pdf.



To submit an article or letter for publication in The AcSEED Newsletter, or to request further information on the content of this newsletter or The AcSEED Initiative, please email us at: contact@acseed.org