Education for Wellbeing

At the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, we believe that young people's ability to make the most of both the opportunities and difficulties of life is as important as the grades they get.

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has been commissioned by the Department for Education to deliver the Education for Wellbeing programme, England's largest research trial of school-based mental health interventions.  

The Education for Wellbeing programme is working with around 370 mainstream primary and secondary schools across England to evaluate pioneering ways of supporting the mental wellbeing of pupils. The research will examine the impact of different interventions on pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

The research for this study is being run by the Evidence Based Practice Unit, University of Manchester, University of Dundee, and London School of Economics. There are two research projects being implemented and evaluated in our programme:

  • AWARE project for Year 9:
    • Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) - a mental health promotion programme delivered by external professionals over five consecutive weekly sessions.
    • The Mental Health and High Schools Curriculum Guide (The Guide) - a mental health literacy curriculum delivered by trained teachers through six lessons lasting 45 – 60 mins each.
  •  INSPIRE project for Years 4, 5, 7 and 8:
    • Mindfulness - delivered for 5 minutes on a daily basis by trained school staff.
    • Strategies for Safety and Wellbeing - eight consecutive weekly lessons each lasting 45 minutes delivered by trained school staff. 
    • Relaxation - delivered for 5 minutes on a daily basis by trained school staff.

Participating schools are randomly allocated to deliver one of the above interventions or to continue with their usual practice. For Wave 1 of the programme, schools started delivery in January 2019. Final research surveys for Wave 1 were completed in the spring term 2020.

We have filled all school places for Wave 2 of the programme and are working closely with these schools, who started delivery in January 2020.  Final follow up surveys for Wave 2 will be completed in the spring term 2021. This is the final wave of the programme and there are no further opportunities for additional schools to take part.

The estimated completion date for the programme is Summer 2021 once the findings have been collated for the Department for Education and disseminated.

Please note, the parent/carer privacy notice has been updated for both INSPIRE and AWARE.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please email



Senior Mental Health Lead training: New dates live

Sign up with the Anna Freud Centre, the UK’s leading mentally healthy schools charity.

DfE grant funding is available to cover the cost of our Senior Mental Health Lead training.

Find out more

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