Developing a whole school approach to mental wellbeing

was rated as inadequate in all areas in its last inspection in March 2017; Beckfield is currently awaiting its first inspection. In his first Headship, Richard has been in post since April 2019, and his first task was to form a brand new team for September 2019 including appointing six of the eight teachers required, two with a TLR for key stage responsibility, and a non-teaching Deputy.

How did mental health become a focus at Beckfield? Between September and March, work began in earnest on developing a whole school approach to mental wellbeing. Beckfield joined ‘Schools in Mind’, a free network which connects educators with mental health professionals. Beckfield sought

to become more informed, and we invested time in professional development. A number of staff including all the Teaching Assistants and the Deputy Head completed a Children and Young People’s Mental Health online training course through The Aim Group and two staff became trained mental health first aiders. The Deputy and I attended a webinar on the importance of wellbeing for those in Senior Leadership, led by Whole School SEND. We made sure that INSET days had featured input on mental health and wellbeing. In the current academic year CPD has recommenced, with all members of staff enrolled on Place2Be’s Mental Health Champions training course to continue to emphasise learning about


n our regular feature this month on mental health and wellbeing, Education Today

speaks to Richard Ireland, Head Teacher at Co-op Academy Beckfield in Bradford, West Yorkshire, a mixed primary school with nursery provision with approximately 210 pupils on roll.

Co-op Academies Trust is one of the fastest growing trusts in the UK, and currently has 26 schools located in three hubs of Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and West Yorkshire. There is a clear identity in all Co-op schools, characterised by ‘The Four Ways of Being’: Do what matters most, Be yourself always, Show you care and Succeed together. The Co-op has been recognised by the Sutton Trust Charity as one of the top performing Multi- Academy trusts for disadvantaged pupils. Prior to academisation, the school, then known as Pudsey Tyersal,

30 November 2020

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