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Stephen Perse Foundation awarded prestigious schools’ mental health award

Published on 15/09/20

The Stephen Perse Foundation has been awarded the School Mental Health Award (Bronze Status) by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools by Leeds Beckett University. The Department for Education recognises the direct link between positive mental health in schools and successful educational outcomes. The Mental Health Award for Schools builds on this link and, the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health explains that it “provides a framework for educational institutions to evidence policies and initiatives that work towards improving emotional health and wellbeing for both staff and pupils.”

The award ensures schools are using evidence-based approaches that align to professional and government guidelines. In awarding Stephen Perse the Bronze level, the examiners said “The school has used the framework and content of the Award to very good effect to develop their mental health and wellbeing strategies, structures and practices.” 

The examiners commented further: “There is a real sense of warmth and mutual respect between both staff and pupils and the school is a happy place to spend your time. The students are very engaged and there is huge energy amongst them to make a difference. They are happy to be themselves; there is a culture of trust and tolerance which makes the school feel very inclusive and safe.”

The aim of the Carnegie Centre of Excellence in Mental Health in Schools is to encourage schools to utilise a developmental framework which allows them to evaluate current mental health practices, identify gaps, develop and strengthen these and work towards building an emotionally healthier environment. Through this process, schools commit to making mental health a strategic priority and developing a positive culture that promotes mental well-being for everyone.  

Tracy Handford, Vice Principal of the Stephen Perse Foundation commented: “This award is the result of an accumulation of hard work and commitment to understanding and improving mental health within our schools over a number of years.  It is now more important than ever that the Foundation continues to prioritise the mental health of students and staff in order for them to thrive in this challenging time.”