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We are delighted to be working with Pears Foundation on a new project aimed at tackling mental health problems. This is vital work given the increasing need for schools to be better informed and equipped to manage children’s and teachers’ own mental health.

To support student wellbeing, we are in the early stages of an 18 month project ‘A comprehensive approach to mental health training in schools’ that will provide Mental Health Training to every adult employed in eight participating schools in the West Midlands, including 7 RSA academies.

Following two meetings of the projects advisory panel, including many of the country’s leading experts in the subject, we are now preparing for the first round of five training sessions, starting with the Senior Leadership Teams (including the mental health lead) from each school. The project is being independently evaluated by the Anna Freud Centre and we will be creating a project page to provide further updates.

On a related note, the RSA Academies Teaching School Alliance is organising a conference called Mental Health: find out how your school can make a positive difference on 29 June at Chateau Impney near Worcester. There’s a fantastic line up of speakers from Prof Barry Carpenter and the fabulous RSA Fellow, Jonny Benjamin MBE to Pooky Knightsmith.

Addressing mental health well is of key interest to the RSA academies, Stephen Steinhaus, Whitley Academy vice principal, wrote in the SSAT recently on how music reduces anxiety and increases confidence and Alison Critchley RSA Academies chief executive, questioned recently whether we have a comprehensive approach to mental health.

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