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The Future of Mentally Healthy Classrooms: celebrating our partnership with Moray House

Last week, Place2Be and Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh hosted an event to celebrate our partnership and build an understanding of our work supporting student teachers. 

A group of people sitting in a room. They are watching and listening to a presentation delivered by Moray House and Place2Be. They have their backs to the camera.

Since 2018, Place2Be and Moray House have proudly worked together to help strengthen student teachers’ understanding, skills and knowledge around children’s mental health and emotional resilience. 

The partnership was the first of its kind in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Scotland, integrating a Place2Be clinician within Moray House School of Education and Sport. This clinician, Dr Kathleen Forbes, provides expertise and also:

  • builds capacity across ITE programmes in the area of mental health and wellbeing
  • works to increase student teachers’ knowledge and understanding of children’s mental health. 
Read an evaluation of the partnership here


To celebrate our successful partnership and build an understanding of the Place2Be and ITE model, we hosted a joint event at Moray House to bring together key people from across the education and mental health sector. During the event, attendees heard from: 

  • Jenny Gilruth MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills    
  • Professor David Smith, Head of School, Moray House School of Education and Sport    
  • Dr Sam Fawkner, Deputy Head of Moray House School of Education and Sport 
  • Dr Niki Cooper, Clinical Director, Place2Be    
  • Dr Kathleen Forbes, Place2Be Clinician based within Moray House School of Education and Sport   
  • Dr Tracy Stewart, Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Psychologist    
  • Dr Zoe Roberston, Head of the Institute of Education, Teaching and Leadership   
  • Catherine Henderson, Place2Be Business Development Consultant    
  • Alumni, Students of MHSES.

There are three people standing up and having a conversation. Two of the members are standing with their backs facing to the camera. The person in the middle is facing the camera and is smiling at the person who is standing on the left.

I was heartened to hear the difference Place2Be has made for student teachers. I think we need to see more of this in terms of how we support Initial Teacher Education and there will undoubtedly be lessons we can learn, across government, from the longitudinal research on this work that has been proposed. Jenny Gilruth MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

The event also provided an opportunity for us to announce our joint research ambition, building an evidence base around the long term impact of the model as students enter the early phase of their teaching career.

We need a conversation nationally about where we go next and how we build on these successes to create both the mentally healthy classrooms in which we want all Scottish learners to flourish - as well as a sustainable workforce to inspire, guide, and teach them. Professor David Smith, Head of Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh

Place2Be’s work with Moray House builds on our wider ambitions to build the confidence, skills and knowledge of school leaders and staff, who play a crucial role in children and young people’s mental health. In July, Place2Be announced a new partnership with The University of Glasgow where we will look to replicate our successful work with Moray House. This all alongside our free online Mental Health Champions - Foundation training programme for school staff and student teachers, and our work in partnership with TeachFirst and National Institute of Teaching. 

As we strive to address the mental health of our children it is has never been more important to continue to create nurturing educational environments.  It is imperative to acknowledge and address the emotional well-being of our teachers, ensuring that they are equipped and supported to guide our future generations. The success of this partnership is not just in its immediate outcomes but in the ripple effect it creates—a wave of emotionally resilient and equipped teachers shaping the future of our society. Kathleen Forbes B.Sc., PhD. MCOSCA, MAFT. Place2Be Clinician / Consultant embedded at Moray House
Learn more about our work in Scotland



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