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Senior Mental Health Leads Training FAQs

Senior Mental Health Leads Training FAQs

It's important to us that we answer any and all questions you might have about our Senior Mental Health Leads programme.

On this page, you can find the answers to our most frequently asked questions about our Senior Mental Health Leads (SMHL) training programme.

If you still have questions after browsing our FAQs, feel free to contact mhc@place2be.org.uk, and one of our friendly team will be happy to assist you.

Apply for SMHL training now

Programme FAQs

You will learn about the principles of leading mental health and putting in place a whole-school approach. You will also have opportunities to apply those principles to your context.

Details of course can be found on our Senior Mental Health Leads training programme webpage.

Our programme is designed for anyone in a school or sixth form college in England, who has taken on the role of leading mental health across the whole school.  If you aren’t already on the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), you will need their support and a spot for regular reporting on the SLT agenda. 

Please contact us directly 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.

We estimate the total contact time commitment across the 12 weeks of this training programme to be 23-25 hours depending on whether you opt to attend the small group reflective sessions.

The programme is composed of four different elements: 

  • four facilitated modules within our online learning environment 
  • four online real-time live interactive group sessions
  • two individual consultations bespoke to you and your school 
  • Optional: two small group reflective sessions 

Each module in our online learning environment includes activities and is flexible as it allows you to complete it whenever works best for you, e.g. in 15-minute sections or all in one go. These online facilitated modules include preparation for the online real-time group sessions, so we encourage completing the relevant module before the live interactive group sessions. 

The time you spend applying your learning in school will depend on your identified priorities and the needs of your role leading mental health. 

Our Senior Mental Health Leads training programme is delivered completely online. The programme contains a mixture of:

  • self-directed learning on our learning platform, Hive
  • live, real-time sessions on Zoom led by our expert trainers.

In each intake, there is a maximum of:

  • 30 participants
  • two trainers.

The small group reflective sessions will have a maximum of eight participants. 

The cost of the Place2Be programme is £880 per participant. 

From September 2021, the Department for Education is offering grants of up to £1,200 to eligible state schools and colleges in England for Senior Mental Health Leads training.

The full grant is designed to include cover for participants. 

You can confirm your eligibility and apply through the online grant application form.

If you intend to apply for a grant, you must apply before booking your place on our Senior Mental Health Leads programme. Later on, you will also need to submit evidence (your confirmation email/receipt/invoice) of your booking to the DfE so your grant payment can be authorised.

The grants from the Department for Education (DfE) facilitate one participant per school to join the course. The DfE have confirmed eligible schools and colleges can 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.

We have scheduled regular start dates across the school terms. Please check back for any dates that might work better for you.

The Senior Mental Health Leads training is an intermediate programme. Even if you’re new to the SMHL role, you’re welcome to register for the programme if you have the full support of your Senior Leadership Team.

Our Senior Mental Health Leads programme will support you to identify your school’s priorities and develop strategic approaches to addressing those needs. You will develop your own leadership within the frame of positive mental health and build a network, sharing best practice with peers from other schools. 

If you do not feel ready to undertake the Senior Mental Health Leads training straight away, we have free mental health training available. You can read more about our free and online Mental Health Champions - Foundation programme on our website. 

You will benefit from the programme if the following both apply to you:

  • you have been chosen by your Headteacher as the designated lead for mental health in your school
  • you have the full support of your Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team for implementing school-wide change.

If you are interested in learning about mental health from a classroom perspective, you may find our free and online Mental Health Champions - Foundation programme more suitable.

We would encourage you to get the backing of your school to fund the programme.  

To be successful on this programme, you will need the full backing of your Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team, as shown by their commitment to fund attendance on the programme. 

In the meantime, you may find our free and online Mental Health Champions - Foundation programme of interest. 

To qualify for grant funding from England’s Department for Education (DfE), this programme has been designed to fulfil their requirements and it is aimed at state schools in England. 

The leadership elements of the course and the learning through case studies and scenarios will be applicable to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the language and references to education policy will be specific to England.

Schools from the Independent sector, or from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, would need to fund a participant from existing school budgets. They would need to understand that the content and trainers currently approach the learning through from the perspective of a school in England.  

The training grant will not be available for leaders of early years settings.

However, we’d expect a Senior Mental Health Lead to develop their whole school approach to mental health to meet the needs of all children within their setting. This may include reception years. 

We accept self-funding applications for our Senior Mental Health Leads programme. Please refer to the Department for Education (DfE). If you are not currently working in a school or sixth form college in England, then you may not be eligible to receive the DfE funding.

For all registration issues please email mhc@place2be.org.uk and one of our friendly team will be able to support your enquiry.

Yes, you will receive a certificate if you have:

  • completed four facilitated modules within our online learning environment 
  • attended a minimum of three of the four online live interactive group sessions. You must attend session 1, session 4 and at least one of sessions 2 and 3
  • attended two individual consultations bespoke to you and your school.

Once you’ve joined the programme and paid, we will not be able to offer a full or partial refund. Details will be available in the Programme Delivery Terms.

The grant funding from the Department for Education is for your school or setting to develop a whole-school approach to mental health, they will need to find someone to replace you on the programme. If your new role requires you to lead mental health in another school, you will need to talk to your new school about funding a new place on the programme if you wish to complete the training.

The grant funding from the Department for Education is for your school or setting to develop a whole-school approach to mental health. Once a school has signed up to our programme, we are not able to issue refunds. Your current school can ask for your replacement as Mental Health Lead to take your place on the programme. 

We were previously able to offer the programme you refer to for free because we had funding from The Lord Mayor’s Appeal - that funding is no longer available.

In addition, this programme isn’t quite the same offer. It has been adapted to align with Department for Education criteria, and the requirement for the funding to be spent on training the Senior Mental Health Lead in a school or college. If you fulfil that role, perhaps you can speak to your Headteacher about using the grant available from the DfE to join one of our cohorts. If that isn’t part of your official role, the programme won’t be as relevant as the old version of the programme.

If you haven’t already done it, we do have our online Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme for which we do still have funding and can offer you a free place.

You will need an internet-enabled device to take part in this programme. 

Our training programme meets the accessibility needs of learners, including satisfying statutory requirements for equalities, covering additional needs such as:  

  • website content is easily navigated by using a keyboard
  • PDF forms accessible to screen readers
  • resources able to be accessed by visually impaired people (strong colour contrast)
  • recorded resources available with text transcript.

Ready to apply for our Department for Education quality assured Senior Mental Health Leads programme?

Apply for our SMHL programme in England

Any questions?

Get in touch with us using our enquiries form