We are pleased to announce that Brannel School has achieved the School Mental Health Award from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Brannel was awarded a silver standard for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision, following the bronze standard previously achieved.
Brannel School provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including:
- A Need to Talk email that students can access to ask for support, pastoral and counselling drop-in sessions during lunch times
- A confidential post box where students can request help privately
- During lockdown, all students were given a ‘wellbeing pack’ with resources to encourage them to look after their mental health with advice about places to get support
- Staff create videos to raise awareness and keep the conversations around mental health open to reduce stigma
- Mindfulness practices are shared weekly for students to take part in
- The school is regularly is involved in mental health awareness days
- Brannel’s Pastoral Team are all TIS trained (Trauma Informed Schools)
- An LGBTQ+ group has started for students and staff have recently been trained by Mermaids UK in gender and diversity
- Counselling is offered to staff as well as students and there has been a big focus on staff mental health
School Counselling Service
A major project that the school has been working on is the expansion of its counselling service. Connections have been developed with Iron Mill College in Exeter; offering trainee counsellors placements to complete their required practice hours to become qualified. We currently have two counsellors volunteering within the school alongside Mrs Hearn, our school counsellor. This has helped to reduce the time that students have to wait to start counselling sessions and is offering more variety in the type of therapies they receive.
“I am delighted that the school has been recognised with this award. It is a reflection of the hard work of staff as well as our commitment to the wellbeing of everyone who walks through the door . We hope that this award will provide encouragement to students, staff and the wider community as we strive to create a positive and supportive environment for all.”Mr Liles, Headteacher
Recently, Brannel has been working on developing on its mental health and wellbeing provision for staff. The school has developed a Toolkit for Mental Health at Work Plan to reinforce the systems that are in place and to identify where to develop further.
A Thrive to Work INSET day has taken place this year. These actions have helped to create an atmosphere where people are able to have open and honest conversations, to reduce stigma and to demonstrate that it is “OK to talk”.
Mental Health in Schools Award
The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen students’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK’s education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.
Doctor Steve Burton, Interim Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of the school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children and engaging with the wider community including staff and parents/carers.
“We’re truly proud to have worked with Brannel School in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”Dr Steve Burton