DfE Update on Mental Health and Wellbeing

This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's Service Lead for Early Years and Prevention, Michael Jarrett on behalf of the DfE's Mental Health Regional Implementation Lead Nick Budge. This is for the attention of the all Education Professionals.

Press Release 19th June 2020 | Billion Pound COVID-19 Catch-up Plan to Tackle Impact of Lost Teaching Time

Click here to find out about the new measures to help primary and secondary pupils catch up.

The Education Endowments Foundation COVID-19 Support Guide for Schools (which has  been attached at the bottom of this page) includes some helpful wellbeing suggestions for schools/colleges.

In addition, if you have not already seen, the Education Endowment Fund has developed a number of Support Resources for Schools to help support home learning and maximise the impact of work set.

The results of a YoungMinds survey with 1,135 teachers and members of school or college staff between Friday 15th May and Monday 1st June which looks at the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s mental health has been published (see attached).

Education Endowments Foundation Support Guide for Schools (see attached guide for further details)

Pupil Assessment and Feedback

Assessment can help teachers determine how to most effectively support their pupils. Every pupil will have been affected differently by COVID-19.

Setting aside time to enable teachers to assess pupils’ wellbeing and learning needs is likely to make it easier for teachers and other school staff to provide effective support.

Extended School Time

In some cases, schools may consider extending the length of the school day; for example, to provide additional academic or pastoral support to particular pupils after school.

There is some evidence that extending school time can have a small positive impact on learning as well as improving other outcomes, such as attendance and behaviour. However, to be successful, any increases in school time should be supported by both parents and staff.

Intervention Programmes

In order to support pupils who have fallen behind furthest, structured interventions, which may also be delivered one to one or in small groups, are likely to be necessary……

Interventions might focus on other aspects of learning, such as behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs, or focus on particular groups of pupils with identified special educational needs or disabilities.

Effective intervention follows assessment, which can be used to ensure that support is well-targeted and to monitor pupil progress.

Supporting Parents and Carers

Parents have played a key role in supporting children to learn at home and it will be essential that schools and families continue to work together as pupils return to school.

Schools have provided extensive pastoral support to pupils and families throughout the pandemic. Additional support in the new school year could focus on providing regular and supportive communications with parents, especially to increase attendance and engagement with learning.  There is a risk that high levels of absence after the summer pose a particular risk for disadvantaged pupils.

Summer Support

Summer programmes can benefit pupils socially and academically, helping to ensure that they return to school ready to learn.  Summer support can also focus on a wide range of outcomes such as confidence and wellbeing, and include a wide range of activities such as sports, music and drama that children might have missed out on during lockdown.