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Senior Mental Health Leads training - Department for Education Quality-Assured

Senior Mental Health Leads training - Department for Education Quality-Assured

Our Senior Mental Health Leads training programme will give you the skills and experience you need to develop a positive approach to mental health across your whole school.

Department for Education (DfE) grants are now available for training starting in the 2024-2025 financial year. Make sure you reserve your grant by 31 December 2024.

Eligible schools and colleges can now claim a second grant if a previously trained Senior Mental Health Lead left their setting before embedding a whole school or college approach to mental health. Please book your place on one of our intakes.

About the programme

Course Code: SMHL043
Learning Level: Intermediate

Our Senior Mental Health Leads (SMHL) training programme is Department for Education quality-assured, and is also CPD-certified.

This SMHL training will provide you with the knowledge and skills to develop, implement and maintain a whole-school approach in your school. Embedding positive mental wellbeing into your school culture will create an environment where your pupils can thrive.

Our programme consists of 23-25 hours during a 12-week period, where you will:

  • find effective ways to address your school's needs
  • grow your leadership skills in positive mental health
  • build a strong supportive network in your school community
  • share best practices with peers from other schools.

Book your place now

Hear from our expert trainers

You will be taught by our expert senior clinician trainers who have experience working in schools.


How is the programme delivered?  

Mental health leads will learn in a variety of ways during this course. From online content you complete in your own time to group sessions, our engaging SMHL training will take 23-25 hours of your time.

  • Activity

    Time (across 12 weeks)
  • Online modules

    Four online modules completed at your own pace

    Self-paced learning on strategic approaches to mental health and leadership on our online learning platform.

    10 hours
  • Group sessions

    Four interactive group sessions held online

    Half-day online group training to embed your learning through experiential exercises and group discussions.

    10 hours
  • Consultations

    Two individual consultations bespoke to you and your school

    Two 1-hour consultations to discuss the priorities outlined in your school audit and to explore any challenges regarding implementation.

    2 hours
  • Reflective sessions

    Two small group reflective sessions

    Group sessions offer a confidential space to explore issues and challenges you may be facing as a Senior Mental Health Lead at your school.

    2 hours
  • Total contact time spent across 12 weeks

    Total contact time across 12 weeks

    23-25 hours

Key information

  • Length:
  • 23-25 hours over the course of 12 weeks

    Course Code:

    Learning Level:
  • You will need to:
  • • sit on the leadership team, or have their support
    • have time and space to prioritise this part of your role
    • be motivated to embed positive mental health approaches in school.

Price:£880(discount for online payment)

Learning outcomes

After completing the programme, leads will be able to:

  1. champion efforts to promote and support mental health and wellbeing, bringing about strategic change to deliver a practical whole-school approach.

  2. understand and plan appropriate responses to pupils’ mental health and wellbeing needs.

  3. ensure children and young people can get timely and appropriate support.

  4. support their own mental health and wellbeing, and that of their pupils.

  5. promote respect and value diversity.

  6. ensure the voice of every pupil is heard and valued, and influence decisions.

  7. ensure everyone works as a team around the pupils, with a consistent approach and shared aims and strategies.

  8. promote resilience and support social and emotional learning.

We set these learning outcomes in line with the eight principles outlined by Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE) in their Promoting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing: A whole-school or college approach publication.

You can find out more about the principles of a whole-school approach and how we implement it in our partner schools.

Benefits of completing our SMHL course

The benefits of our SMHL training programme include having:

  • free access to Place2Be’s Mental Health Champions Foundation programme for your wider team to develop your whole-school approach
  • personalised learning that considers your school’s needs and priorities
  • expert support from qualified clinicians with experience working in schools
  • the opportunity to build a network of peer support
  • ongoing support for alumni with free access to additional resources, tips, learning and networking opportunities.

Why should you train with us?

With almost 30 years experience providing mental health support in schools, we’re acknowledged specialists in our field. Over 1,300 Senior Mental Health Leads have trusted us to successfully deliver their training.


Our Senior Mental Health Leads Training programme is CPD-certified and is Department for Education quality-assured.

Logo for the CPD Certification Service

  • The training has been accredited against the CPD’s A.C.C.R.E.D.I.T.E.D. Framework. This accreditation shows that the learning we deliver is of the best quality.
  • Our programme is listed on the CPD Register, and our participants can collect CPD credits upon course completion.

Who is the training for?

Our SMHL training is suitable for any member of school staff who is the mental health lead at their school or college in England. You’ll need to have the support of your Senior Leadership Team to meet the requirements of the programme. This is because you will need to work with your wider school community to promote positive mental health as part of your school’s culture.

The training is ideal for:

  • headteachers
  • deputy headteachers
  • mental health leads
  • pastoral leads
  • safeguarding leads
  • Special Educational Needs Counsellors (SENCOs)
  • other roles in school leadership.

Please get in touch with us by emailing mhc@place2be.org.uk to discuss whether this programme will meet your needs if you:

  • hold a different role
  • are applying from a Further Education (FE) college or Special School
  • are based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

You might also find our frequently asked questions about our SMHL programme helpful.

Fees and funding


Course fee 

The fee for our SMHL programme is £880

You can choose between two methods to pay.

  1. Credit or debit card. We offer a £20 discount per booking if you pay online using the code 20SMHL. Please note that you will not receive an invoice if you pay this way. 
  2. Offline payment. If you choose this payment method, we will send your school finance officer an invoice of £880 using the details you provide in your registration form.


We accept self-funding applications for our Senior Mental Health Leads training programme.

Book your place now

Applying for funding: Department for Education Grants 

Department for Education (DfE) grants are now available for training starting in the 2024-2025 financial year. Make sure you reserve your grant by 31 December 2024.

Eligible schools and colleges can now claim a second grant if a previously trained senior mental health lead left their setting before embedding a whole school or college approach to mental health.

You are likely to be eligible for a grant if you: 

  • have appointed an SMHL that's being supported by the senior leadership team to implement a whole school approach to mental health
  • are a state-funded school or college that has not previously applied for SMHL funding
  • have already claimed the grant and the previously trained senior mental health lead left their setting before embedding a whole school or college approach to mental health.

To apply for a DfE grant for our SMHL course, you'll need to:

The DfE will contact you by email requesting evidence of your Place2Be course booking. You must submit your evidence by 31 January 2025. Evidence of your booking can be a photo or scanned copy of your:

  • booking confirmation email
  • invoice.

Have a question?

Read our frequently asked questions to find out more about our Senior Mental Health Leads programme.

If you require more information, please email mhc@place2be.org.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.


Check out stories from Paul and Kathryn, who have both completed our SMHL course.

Completing the course with Place2Be has enhanced my role in school and the expertise provided will support development of our whole school approach. The action plan was particularly useful in ensuring we are covering what is required. We have created a Mental Health Action Group who will support each other in the development of our whole school approach to support children, staff and our wider school community. I've really enjoyed this course and have lots of ideas to put into practice. I'm looking forward to working with our team to embed wellbeing into our school community. Thank you for your support, and ongoing support via the staffroom.

Pastoral Lead at a primary school

31.08.21 2203 FINAL

Book onto our SMHL programme

By clicking the 'Book SMHL training now' button at the bottom of this box, you can:

  • choose your preferred course dates
  • provide details of who will attend
  • give payment information for our course fee of £880.

Once you complete your application, we'll email you with your booking confirmation. One of our friendly SMHL team will then be in touch about next steps.

Book SMHL training now