About this course

This seminar will take place online, and details of how to join will be shared with registrants close to the event.

In June schools and colleges will start to reopen their gates to pupils and students. But will schools and colleges ever be the same again? Do we want them to? Before the lockdown schools were already heavily engaged with mental health, but these seminars will ask if there is more that we need to do to embed mental health in our education system.


The transition back to school will be complicated enough. Children and young people will have been out of school for a minimum of two months. Some will have felt the loss of friendship; some may have experienced bereavements; some may feel disappointed that the exams they worked so hard for will not take place. Others may feel relieved and worry about going back.

It’s clear that this return to school or college is not a normal transition. It’s an opportunity for us to think again what we want from education. We’ve seen an outpouring of kindness – for support of NHS staff and other key workers (including teachers) – and the concern for the health and financial wellbeing of our friends, families and neighbours. But how deep is this? Does this herald a new approach for society? And what does it mean for education and mental health and in particular our most challenging children and young people?  What do we want to do differently when schools and colleges return.

In Mental Health Awareness Week we will be asking these questions of three speakers and inviting all attendees to contribute their own thoughts through written contributions at the end of the seminar to help outline a new way forward to working with schools and colleges to support children and young people’s wellbeing and mental health.

  1. How well did schools and college address C&YP mental health before the pandemic (please give examples)
  2. What have we learned about children and young people’s mental health from the pandemic
  3. What would you like to see changed when lockdown is over and schools and colleges return.


  • Chair: Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre
  • Speaker: Margaret Mulholland, SEN and Inclusion Specialist and Honorary Norham Fellow at St Catherine’s College, Oxford
  • Speaker: Dr Julie Greer, Headteacher of Cherbourg Primary School
  • Discussant: Jaime Smith, Director for the mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges 


17:30 - 17:40     Introduction - Peter Fonagy 

17:40 - 18:10     Presentation - Margaret Mulholland 

18:10 - 18:30     Presentation - Dr Julie Greer 

18:30 - 18:40     Discussion - Jaime Smith, Margaret Mulholland, Julie Greer and Peter Fonagy 

18:40 - 18:55     Q&A from audience

18:55 - 19:00     Closing remarks - Peter Fonagy