Skip to content
  • General news
  • Media coverage

Centre’s Director of Schools’ Division on Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Jaime Smith, Director of the Anna Freud Centre’s Schools’ Division, has been awarded an MBE for services to education in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021 demonstrates the extraordinary efforts made by individuals in all four nations of the United Kingdom during the pandemic.

Under Jaime’s leadership, the Anna Freud Centre’s Schools’ Division has led the way in helping transform mental health in thousands of schools and FE colleges around the country. The Schools’ Division responded quickly during the coronavirus pandemic by offering teachers and school leaders evidence-based resources to help them support the mental health and wellbeing of pupils and staff. Jaime and her team delivered the Wellbeing for Education Return initiative to support schools and FE colleges returning from lockdown in the wake of the pandemic.

The pandemic has disrupted the traditional processes for children and young people’s transitions to the next stage of education. The Schools’ Division has worked on developing innovative resources to help school and FE college staff, parents and carers, as well as pupils to manage the transition from primary to secondary school with a focus on prioritising wellbeing.

Jaime has also built on Mentally Healthy Schools’ success by extending its guidance and resources throughout the UK and to secondary schools and FE settings.

The Schools’ Division continues to successfully deliver the Link Programme, a national initiative funded by the Department for Education. The programme is delivered fully online now and has been adapted for the 2021/2022 academic year. The aim of the programme is to bring together those in education and mental health services to support children’s mental health, so that they get the help they need, when they need it.

Jaime Smith, Director of the Centre’s Schools’ Division, says: “I am honoured to receive this acknowledgement of the work the entire Schools’ Division is achieving. I work with a fantastic team in an amazing organisation and that’s where the credit lies.

“We want to support education professionals to embed good mental health and wellbeing at the heart of their settings. We are doing this by training senior mental health leads and effectively getting the latest mental health research and evidence-based resources into schools and FE colleges across the country. Key to this success is our Schools in Mind network, which has continued to grow over the last four years and now reaches over 30,000 teachers and allied professionals.

“We want to help and support all school staff, parents and carers, governors, and pupils to work together to take a whole-school approach to mental health. This has never been more crucial than now, when it is essential that children and young people are able to turn to someone they can trust for support in times of distress. I’m really excited about our 5 Steps to mental health and wellbeing framework, which I think will provide schools and FE colleges with the tools they need to ensure that we have mentally healthy schools across the country.”

Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre, says: “This award is incredibly well deserved and I could not be more delighted. It is just such an appropriate reflection of the extraordinary work Jaime has done for children and the education system as a whole. I am delighted at the recognition she has received and believe she will only go on to even greater things.”