Sheffield school scoops pioneering mental health award

A Sheffield school has become the first in South Yorkshire to be awarded a gold standard for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 11:20 am
Updated Monday, 15th July 2019, 12:28 pm
Karen Ransom, a teacher at Becton's Kenwood Centre pictured with the award

Becton School, which has several hubs across the city, aims to provide education for children affected by physical or mental ill health.

As such they offer a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including mental health which is built into the Becton curriculum and is a focus for the student council.

Parents and pupils Robert Stevenson, Joanne Gleeson, Gaynor Stevenson, Kirsty Rothwell and Lewis Rothwell.

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The children have weekly resilience lessons and on Friday afternoons staff go off-timetable, meaning the students either go home or back to the ward, so they can have wellbeing sessions and supervision slots.

Becton also work closely with social services and the NHS's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

In recognition of their efforts, the school has achieved the Gold standard in the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools.

Becton headteacher, James Gibson said: “I am extremely proud to be the leader of Becton and that the school is now recognised nationally as a centre of excellence for the support that we give our students and staff around their Mental Health. We have been working towards this award for the last 18 months and it has enabled us to fully evaluate the support that we provide.”

The school has also recruited a Mental Health Governor who meets termly with the head teacher and middle leaders to give support and challenge to the school in order to make sure that they are doing everything that is possible to support their pupils and staff.

Furthermore, the governors insist that it is part of the head teacher’s appraisal to monitor and support the mental health needs of all at Becton School.

Mr Gibson added: “All of our students have SEND, mental health, physical disabilities and could be disadvantaged and/or vulnerable. However, with the package of holistic care and education that our students are provided with, we strongly believe that we enable our students to be strong, resilient, independent young people and pride ourselves that the majority of our students go on to be part of society, leading happy and fulfilled lives.

“Our staff retention is strong and feedback from consultations with staff is that they feel supported in all aspects of their Mental Wellbeing."

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.

Professor Damien Page, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “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.

“We’re truly proud to have worked with Becton in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”

Nationally, more than 600 schools have signed up for the award.