‘Place2Be has become part of the fabric and life of the school’
Having support from specialists has benefited our staff and pupils and has helped our school build a deeper knowledge of mental health needs and how best to manage them.
"My colleagues constantly spoke of pupils needing more support than they were sometimes able to offer. These include for children with difficult home lives, or children feeling overwhelmed and finding school challenging on a daily basis. These are children who need support from professionals, but might not meet the threshold for external services.
"We needed specialists, with skills and knowledge beyond what we might be able to offer as educators.
"Children’s mental health is too important to tackle alone, and too important to ignore. It cannot be seen as “another job” and other “measurable” or “a nice thing to do”.
"We know that a healthy mind is essential to keeping our children wholesome and happy while meeting higher educational standards and increasingly complex demands in the classroom.
"This is when we sought out Place2Be – we have counsellors and a School Project Manager in our school three days a week working with a range of children on short- and long-term programmes. We also offer a lunchtime drop-in.
"Place2Be has become part of the fabric and life of the school. Children trust the orange and yellow logo, and when they post their slips in the box in their classroom, they know their concern will be taken seriously, and that they can talk to an adult about what’s on their mind.
"My teaching colleagues benefit greatly from having trained professionals on site each week, building up a deeper knowledge of mental health needs and how best to manage them.
"After some initial doubts, families have engaged with the service, convinced by the positive impact on their children as well as the professionalism with which the counsellors conduct themselves.
"Almost two years on from the service starting, families and children see it as an important part of our work and essential to living our ethos.
"We take children’s mental health as seriously as we take healthy eating and high-quality education. We are now in a better position to perform against raised academic standards, and at the same time increase the likelihood of having a generation of children who look back on their formative school years with happy memories."
This blog was written in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the view of the organisation. Names in case studies may be changed to protect the identities of those involved. Photos used are for representative purposes only.