Behaviour and Mental Health in Schools

Thanks to Kerrie Wheelan, Head of Endeavour Academy, for the following article.

It is reported that Mental Health problems constitute the largest single source of world economic burden, with estimations of a global cost of £1.6 trillion.  This would be greater than costs for cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes on their own.  With 10% of children and young people having a clinically diagnosable mental health issue it remains concerning that 70% have had no appropriate interventions. 

Behaviour and Mental Health in Schools

The impact of this is evident in schools where Mental Health and Wellbeing is being placed high on agendas. The 2019 Ofsted inspection framework now judges Personal Development separate to Behaviour and Wellbeing, giving greater emphasis on school’s requirements to evidence the work they are doing to meet wellbeing needs and what impact this is having, as well as, Local Authorities recognising the pressures on existing services and developing trailblazer and resilience teams to enhance the provision and offer targeted interventions.

Schools experience the day to day reality of these issues and play a vital role in trying to combat them.  The difficulties lie in recognising the complexity of the many factors which may be contributing to these issues and pin pointing where to start in making sense of what is going on and what to do to ‘fix’ it, being able to gain a clear picture of what exactly is causing the problems and making sense of what interventions can best support the student to make progress.  Early assessment which enable protective factors to be embedded underpin the psychological process of ensuring wellbeing.  The most effective schools at promoting mental wellbeing and positive behaviour embed the core principles of resiliency in their everyday practices; connection, community, positive relationships, high expectations, and social and emotional learning (Noble et al., 2008; Roffey, 2015; Wells et al., 2003).

Tools to help identify Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBDs) in school

The Special Needs Assessment Profile for behaviour (SNAP B) is a tool rather than a test, it gathers information rather than psychometrically assessing and it focuses on Social, Emotional and Behaviour factors which can cause a barrier to be succeeding in education.  The assessment triangulates information from Students, Parents and School staff to provide data and highlight areas which may have significant impacts on engagement.  These cover difficulties at home, self-confidence and relationships with peers and adults.  The benefits from this assessment, are not only that it identifies difficulties, but it provides strategies for parents, interventions for teachers and it can be used to assist with devising School Support Plans and writing reports for further assessment.  The tool has the facility to reassess, so after targeted intervention, progress can be monitored and evidenced in a visual chart which allows for schools to show the impact of the work they have carried out on improving student wellbeing. 
Learn more about SNAP-B.



Assessment, Intervention and SEN, SEN, wellbeing, Wellbeing and Character Education

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