The Duchess of Cambridge attends The Royal Foundation's 'Mental Health in Education' Conference

13th February 2019 By: Tim Linehan

Our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge is attending The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ conference today, Wednesday 13th February.

The conference brings together experts from across the mental health and education sectors to explore and discuss the benefits of collaborative working and what more can be done to tackle mental health issues in schools.



Her Royal Highness is listening to a number of sessions, including one on the benefits of integrating mental health modules into teacher training courses, and another on the role of school leaders in creating a culture of wellbeing in schools.

During her visit, The Duchess of Cambridge will meet Head Teachers from a number of schools that are currently piloting The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mentally Healthy Schools’ programme. Launched by The Duchess of Cambridge in 2018, ‘Mentally Healthy Schools’ is a website giving primary schools free access to hundreds of the highest quality mental health resources, helping teachers better support their pupils’ mental health. It is one of the legacy programmes from the Heads Together campaign and is being delivered in partnership with The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Place2Be and Young Minds.

Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, professor Peter Fonagy, will make a speech focusing on the current gaps and future needs in education and mental health.

Dr Jessica Deighton, who leads our research and evaluation into mental health interventions in schools is part of a panel group discussing where we are now and how the education system can respond to mental health needs.

Later on in the day, Steve Rippin, Head Teacher of Tapton School in Sheffield will talk about whole school approaches to mental health. Steve took part in our CASCADE school links trials and contributed to our resource Ten Steps Towards School Staff Wellbeing and attended our Schools in Mind events. As did Kate O’Connor, Head at Lessness Heath Primary School who is speaking about mental wellbeing for staff. The day ends with a session on partnership working in schools from Sophie McEllory from the London borough of Hackney who we worked closely with on the CASCADE project.

The event, hosted by broadcaster and presenter Kate Silverton, will see a full day of speakers, panel discussions and breakout sessions.