Education for Wellbeing

  • Overview

    We are pleased to announce that the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has been commissioned by the Department for Education to deliver an exciting new project which aims to evaluate pioneering ways of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of school pupils.

    As part of this we are looking to work with schools who want to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils! We are looking for primary and secondary schools to take part in our 2018 - 2020 research programme to implement and evaluate a range of mental health interventions for school pupils in years 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9.

    Pupils and staff will be asked to complete online questionnaires before and after programme delivery, which will give an indication of the mental health and wellbeing of participating pupils and whether this changes over time.

    Benefits for participating schools

    Following the Government’s Green Paper on Mental Health, this is a valuable opportunity to introduce school-focused mental health interventions with our support and expertise as one of the UK's leading evidence-based children's mental health charities.

    There are a number of benefits to taking part, including:

    • Providing your pupils with whole-class mental health and wellbeing programmes with support from leading experts in child mental health.

    • Free mental health and wellbeing training from mental health professionals for selected school staff.

    • An evaluation feedback report containing an aggregate summary of your pupils’ responses and outcomes on key mental health and wellbeing measures.

      This will provide a snapshot of the challenges faced by your school’s pupils, and can be used to target support and inform planning evidence for Ofsted and whole-school practice.

    • Contributing to the wider evidence base on what works for school-based mental health support and how it can best be delivered.

    • A letter of thanks from the Department for Education acknowledging your school’s important role in this project.

    • £1,000 remuneration in recognition of administrative commitments.
  • Project Team

    This project has been commissioned by the Department for Education.

    The Delivery Team at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families are responsible for developing and supporting the training and delivery of the interventions.

    The Research and Evaluation Team (the Evidence Based Practice Unit (UCL and AFNCCF) and the University of Manchester) will be collecting data and carrying out an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of each research condition.

  • Mental Health Interventions

    This project comprises two separate research trials that will evaluate different types of mental health interventions.

    For both trials, pupils and staff will be asked to complete online questionnaires before and after the interventions, which will give an indication of the mental health and wellbeing of participating pupils and how this changes over time.

    AWARE (Approaches for Wellbeing and Mental Health LiterAcy: Research in Education)

    The AWARE trial will evaluate curriculum-based interventions for year 9 that aim to educate and improve teachers’ and pupils’ mental health awareness and literacy.

    Schools taking part in this trial will be randomly allocated to one of 3 research conditions:

    • Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM)
      Delivered by mental health and education professionals

    • The Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide (The Guide)
      Delivered by your school's teachers

    • Measurement-only
      With mental health training for teachers provided after 1 year 

    INSPIRE (INterventions in Schools for PromotIng Mental Wellbeing: Research in Education)

    The INSPIRE trial will evaluate resilience-based interventions for years 4, 5, 7 and 8 that aim to equip pupils with skills for emotional self-awareness and self-management.

    Schools taking part in this trial will be randomly allocated to one of 4 research conditions:

    • Mindfulness
      Delivered by your school's teachers

    • Relaxation
      Delivered by school's teachers

    • Strategies for Safety and Wellbeing
      Delivered by your school's teachers

    • Measurement-only
      With mental health training delivered to teachers after 1 year
  • School Eligibility and FAQs

    We are looking for mainstream primary and secondary schools in the following regions:

    • Greater London and South East
    • Greater Manchester and North West
    • Newcastle, Durham and North East
    • Bristol, Bath and South West

    State schools, independent schools, and academies are all eligible to apply.

    Schools that are randomly allocated to receive a mental health intervention will be expected to commit to releasing teachers to attend training at the city centre of their respective region, and to find space in their timetable for those teachers to deliver mental health interventions to their classes each week for a minimum of 6 weeks during Jan – March 2019.

    Primary schools

    We are looking for primary schools with at least 20 pupils per class that can commit to:

    • Delivering a mental health intervention to at least one class in year 4 and one class in year 5 for a minimum of 8 weeks from Jan 2019 onwards.

    Secondary schools

    We are looking for secondary schools with at least 20 pupils per class that can commit to either:

    • Delivering a mental health intervention to at least three classes in year 7 and three classes in year 8 for a minimum of 8 weeks from Jan 2019 onwards.

    Or:

    • Delivering a mental health intervention to at least two classes and at least 60 pupils in year 9.
    • Adapting their existing plans for year 9 lessons during Jan – March 2019 to incorporate 6 weekly mental health intervention sessions lasting 45-60 minutes each.

     

    For further information on school eligibility and requirements, and answers to common queries, please see our FAQs.

  • How to apply

    Schools are invited to submit their application to the programme by completing the online Expression of Interest form.

    The deadline for completing Expressions of Interest will be 18th May 2018

    Applications have now closed for primary schools.

    We will communicate schools selection outcomes from late April 2018 onwards.

    Schools will be notified of which research condition they have been randomly allocated to from 29 Oct 2018 onwards.

    If you have queries that are not answered by the information on this webpage, please see our FAQs.