Funding to boost mental health support in schools – Friday 14 May 2021

This week I highlight the Government’s announcement of £17 million funding to build on mental health support in education settings, publication of an education staff wellbeing charter, the end of the requirement for students to wear face coverings and a new webinar on reducing avoidable school exclusions.

Schools to benefit from boost in expert mental health support and publication of an education staff wellbeing charter
As part of Mental Health Awareness week, the Government has announced more than £17 million to build on mental health support already available in education settings, as it continues to prioritise wellbeing alongside academic recovery. The funding will cover:

  • A Wellbeing for Education Recovery program providing free training and resources for staff to support pupils experiencing additional pressures from the last year.
  • Funding to the ‘Link’ programme run by the Anna Freud Centre which promotes joint working between schools and mental health services.
  • Grants for training of senior mental health leads in up to 7,800 schools and colleges from September. Information on applying for funding and a list of approved training providers is expected to be announced before September.

In addition the DfE has published an education staff wellbeing charter which schools can sign up to when it is available in the autumn, as a shared commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff. Schools can use the charter to:

  • show staff that their wellbeing is taken seriously
  • open a conversation with staff about their wellbeing and mental health
  • create a staff wellbeing strategy
  • create a wellbeing-focused culture

Mandatory use of face coverings to be removed
On Monday the Prime Minister confirmed that pupils would no longer be required to wear face coverings in schools from 17 May. This would improve interaction between teachers and students, ensuring the clearest possible communication to support learning. Staff have been advised to continue to wear face coverings in communal areas where social distancing is not possible.

Governors for School webinar on reducing avoidable school exclusions
The webinar will take place on Tuesday 25 May from 12.30-1.30 pm and will explore the role of governors in a fair and robust exclusions process. To register please use this link to the Governors for School’s website.