Forest School scoops pioneering Mental Health award

Forest School is proud to announce that we have been awarded Gold in the School Mental Health Award delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Forest School has been recognised for its outstanding Mental Health and Wellbeing provision.

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead. The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK’s education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.

Forest provides a wide range of activities to boost the Mental Health and Wellbeing of pupils and staff, including embedded comprehensive counselling provision in partnership with Place2Be along with self-referral provision via Place2Talk.

Staff training is a focal point of Forest’s Mental Health and Wellbeing provision with an extensive programme where every member of teaching staff attends Mental Health First Aid Training delivered by MHFA England.

There are also Wellbeing representatives amongst the student body and a comprehensive Wellbeing programme for students that includes Wellbeing lessons, Personal Decision-Making lessons as part of the Sixth Form Diploma and a range of events tailored to staff and parents.  The aim of the programme is to ensure they are well-positioned to make the most out of their time at Forest School and beyond our white gates.

I am extremely proud that the school’s delivery of high impact pastoral care has been recognised in this way. We will absolutely continue to develop our practice, working pro-actively and in close collaboration, with all Forest families to promote best outcomes for the children and young people in our care.

Jeff Kayne, Deputy Head Pastoral

Working towards the Mental Health award has allowed us to work strategically to improve the Wellbeing of staff and pupils in the school. It highlighted many areas of success and helped us to plan for the next stage of our Mental Health and Wellbeing provision. We look forward to continuing to build a culture of Wellbeing within Forest School, where all members of our community can thrive.

Rebecca Kay, Head of Lower School who acted as our award lead

Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of the school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children and engaging with the wider community including staff and parents/carers. We’re truly proud to have worked with Forest School in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.

Professor Damien Page, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education