Government unveils programme to enhance pupil and teacher wellbeing


Schools and colleges across England are to benefit from an £8 million programme designed to boost teacher and pupil wellbeing.

The Wellbeing for Education Return programme has been designed to provide additional support to staff and young people after an extended period away from the classroom.

Run by mental health experts, the programme will ensure that schools have access to the resources and guidance necessary to provide top quality support to staff and pupils.

Launching from the start of the new academic year this month, it is designed to help individuals who may have experienced bereavement, anxiety, stress or other issues during the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing targeted support to those who need it

Education secretary Gavin Williamson praised the heroic response of teaching staff to the pandemic and said he recognises that it has impacted people in different ways.

“By investing in this tailored programme, we can help schools and colleges to support their pupils effectively, enabling them to have sensitive and open conversations with pupils,” he explained.

He added that the programme has been developed with help from numerous health partners, mental health staff, local authorities and schools to ensure that it can support as many people as possible.

A portion of the funding will help aid the recruitment of local experts to deliver training and advice throughout the academic year.

Children’s minister Vicky Ford said that several online resources, including training modules and webinars are available to support teachers ahead of the new term.

“There is no simple solution to solving mental ill health, but by providing this wide range of support we are adding to the wealth of resources available,” she explained.

Designed to help empower teachers to spot any signs of emotional distress, the training is set to be offered to every school and college in England.

Nominated staff will have access to the range of interactive materials, which they will then be able to share with their colleagues.

The general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT), Paul Whiteman, welcomed the latest funding announcement, saying that it is vital that all pupils and staff are supported.