5 Steps seminar series

The Anna Freud Centre has launched its free 5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework, which is an evidence-based tool which supports you to decide your own approach to mental health and wellbeing in 5 simple steps.

This framework was created to help schools and FE colleges develop a consistent approach to wellbeing that considers the needs of pupils, staff, the importance of leadership, and the role of the community.

The 5 Steps are Leading Change, Working Together, Understanding Need, Promoting Wellbeing and Supporting Staff. Each of these steps includes two-six practical actions that education professionals can take to make sure that promoting mental health and wellbeing is integrated across the whole school or FE college curriculum.

Our seminar series has brought together expert panels of speakers to discuss key themes relating to the 5 Steps Framework. To re-watch the seminars or to download the presentations please click on the titles below: 


Seminar recordings and materials 2020/2021

Leading Change

This seminar, chaired by Professor Peter Fonagy, was the first of the series and focuses on the first of our 5 steps: Leading Change.

Our expert speakers include Dr David Frost, a national expert on teacher leadership. Together the panel explore the link between leadership and mental health, and offer insights into how schools leaders can go about creating a culture shift to embed whole-school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Download the presentation slides.

Read David Frost's blog post - 5 Steps: Leadership for mental health in schools.

Understanding Need

This seminar, chaired by Jaime Smith, is the second of the series and focuses on the step Understanding Need. Our expert speakers included:

  • Professor Jessica Deighton, (Professor of Child Mental Health and Wellbeing, UCL; Director of Innovation Evaluation and Dissemination, AFNCCF; Director of Evidence Based Practice Unit, UCL & AFNCCF)
  • Dr Rebecca Somerfield (Deputy Head, Walsall Academy on behalf on Mercers’ Associated Schools and Colleges)
  • Nick Tait (Programme Manager, Child Outcomes Research Consortium, and previous Headteacher).

Together they discuss how schools and colleges can assess and meet the mental health needs of their pupils and students, and consider some of the following questions:

1. How do you identify pupils at risk?

2. How do you measure and monitor the wellbeing of your pupils?

3. How do you develop and measure interventions available to support those pupils?

Download the presentation slides.

Download the Using measurement tools to understand pupils’ mental health needs resource.

Download seminar Q&A.

Read Dr Rebecca Somerfield's blog post - 5 Steps: Understanding mental health need in schools.

Supporting Staff

This seminar, chaired by our Chief Executive Professor Peter Fonagy, is the third of the series and focuses on our step: Supporting Staff

Our key note speaker for this seminar was, Education Support's CEO Sinéad Mc Brearty, who talked about school staff wellbeing based on research conducted by Education Support.

The panel also included The Anna Freud Centre's Lesley French who focused on how using a mentalization approach can help support school and college staff; and Conny Brandt from Peterhouse School, who spoke about the benefits of surveying staff to understand need and develop support.

The recording for this seminar is currently unavailable, however, you can download the presenter slides below.

Download the presentation slides.

Read Sinéad Mc Brearty's blog - 5 Steps: Supporting staff wellbeing in schools.

Promoting Wellbeing

This seminar, chaired by our Chief Executive Professor Peter Fonagy, is the fourth of the series and focuses on the step: Promoting Wellbeing. 

Our key note speaker for this seminar was Jonathan Baggaley, Chief Executive of the PSHE association who talked about how pupil wellbeing can be promoted through the curriculum via PSHE education.

The seminar also included a presentation by Dr Lili Ly who spoke about the role of Education Mental Health Practitioners and how they can help to support wellbeing in schools. We ended the seminar with a presentation by Michelle Roddy, Assistant Headteacher & Director of Wellbeing, Safety and Resilience and Chris McCormack, Headteacher from St Bonaventure’s school who talked about how they have implemented a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing which mirrors our 5 Steps Framework.

Download the presentation slides.

Read Jonathan Baggaley's blog - 5 Steps: Promoting wellbeing in schools.

Working Together

This seminar, chaired by Director of the Schools Division, Jaime Smith was the fifth of the 5 Steps series and focused on the step: Working Together. 

Our keynote speaker for this seminar was Hannah Stolton, CEO of Governors for Schools, who talked about the importance of the role that Governors have in promoting mental health in schools and FE colleges.

The seminar also included a presentation by Andy Cooke, Service Delivery Manager for Pupil Support Services at Telford & Wrekin Council, and Stephen Taylor, Founding Headteacher of the Pears Family School.

Download the presentation slides.

Read Hannah Stolton's blog - Governors as a driver of mentally healthy schools.

Seminar recordings and materials 2021/2022

A whole school and FE college approach to supporting staff wellbeing

This seminar chaired by Jaime Smith, Director of the Schools Division, focuses on building a whole school/FE college approach to supporting staff wellbeing.

Our expert panel of speakers include, Roisin McEvoy, Head of Training and National Programmes within the Schools Division at the Centre. Together with Pardeep Anning, Assistant Headteacher and Inclusion Leader at Grovelands Primary School, and Nick Tait, Programme Manager at Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC).

The panel explore a variety of topics including:

  • the role of Governors and Leadership in supporting staff wellbeing
  • the benefits of measuring staff wellbeing, what to measure, and how to measure it
  • practical tips for schools and FE colleges

Download the presentation slides.

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