We achieved a Silver award for Mental Health!

GOOD mental health and wellbeing provision at Kidderminster’s Baxter College has earned the school a prestigious award.

The School Mental Health Award recognises the wide range of activities used to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including counselling sessions, peer reading groups and staff forums.

Baxter College has also developed a positive relationship working group to benefit teaching and learning and liaises closely with external services and the NHS’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Principal Matthew Carpenter said: “We are delighted to receive the silver award in recognition of the work being done to ensure our whole school community enjoys the benefits of good mental health.

“The impact of working towards the standard has consolidated and built on previous work and further raised our awareness of mental ill-health triggers and symptoms, which all contributes to our vigilant, safe and supportive culture, as recognised by inspectors in our recent good Ofsted report.”

The school already has nearly 20 staff trained as mental health first aiders, thanks to an £8,000 National Lottery grant awarded in 2018, which also funded workshops and team-building activities to support students grappling with the stresses of modern life.

Mr Carpenter added: “Creating a culture of positive mental wellbeing requires lots of supporting initiatives, from giving our teachers can talk about any concerns they have through to the way our teachers develop positive relationships with students, even Bunsen has a role to play.”

Baxter College is part of the Severn Academies Educational Trust and chief executive Chris King praised the school for its “fantastic work in promoting good mental health amongst students and staff”.

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead. 

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ 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. 

Professor Damien Page, 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. 

“We’re truly proud to have worked with Baxter College in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”

Nationally, more than 600 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award. 

Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults. 

“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Baxter College and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”

Article from the Shuttle.