Practical advice & guidance

This page offers links to credible websites that provide further advice and guidance for applying the whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing


Mentally Healthy Schools: whole school approach

Mentally Healthy Schools offers a range of practical advice and guidance on how to apply a whole school approach to addressing emotional wellbeing and mental health. There are sections on:

  • Schools and Local Commissioning
  • Leadership and Improvement
  • Involving Parents and Carers
  • Children’s Voice
  • Guidance and Frameworks
  • Showcasing Activity for Ofsted
  • Supporting Staff Wellbeing

Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing: A whole school and college approach (Public Health England, 2015)

Published by  in conjunction with the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. The document sets out the key features of how to establish a whole school approach to addressing the emotional wellbeing of children in school. It describes eight key features and offers practical advice for each with examples of schools that taking strides to implement each of them:

  • Leadership and Management, which is at the centre
  • Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  • Enabling student voice to influence decisions
  • Staff development
  • Identifying need and monitoring impact
  • Working with parents/ carers
  • Targeted support and appropriate referral
  • An ethos and environment that promotes respect and values diversity

National Children’s Bureau – What Works (2015)

What Works is written by Professor Katherine Weare and draws from National Children’s Bureau’s research projects. It sets out their evidence-based model for taking a whole school approach and  how it can improve outcomes across the school. The evidence says:

  • Children with greater well-being, lower levels of mental health problems and greater emotional attachment to school achieve higher grade scores, better examination results, better attendance and drop out less often,
  • Social and emotional skills are a more significant determinant of academic attainment than IQ.
  • The strong correlation between the quality of PSHE in a school and the school’s overall effectiveness

It concludes that schools can be confident that focusing on well-being and mental health:

  • enables them to provide healthy and happy school environments for pupils and staff
  • prepares the citizens of tomorrow with sound character and values
  • directly supports their more immediate mission of promoting effective learning.

« Back to Whole school approach