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How Can We Create Communities of Educational Practitioners

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools was established in 2017. It was the first Centre of its kind in the UK. It is based from the Carnegie School of Education, based at Leeds Beckett University and is in partnership with Minds Ahead CIC.

The Carnegie Centre exists to strengthen the mental health of the next generation by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK’s education system, thereby improving outcomes and life chances.

The Centre’s approach in supporting education settings is focused on evidence-based solutions which address schools’, pupils’ and parents’/carers’ needs.

The Centre places emphasis on developing the leadership capacities of schools / colleges, so that they have sustained capacity to improve in the longer term and can go on to strengthen mental health in their wider community.

The impact of the Centre’s work has been wide-reaching and has worked with over 2,000 schools on our portfolio of provision including: individual schools, multi academy trusts, groups of schools within teaching school alliances, schools belonging to membership organisations and whole local authorities.

The Centre offers provision for school colleagues at all stages of their career by offering professional learning programmes and developmental frameworks and workshops for individuals, schools and groups of schools and by facilitating and encouraging professional conversations through online and face to face communities, webinars, networks and conferences.

Our current provision focuses on:

  • School Mental Health Award
  • Leadership Development Programme for School Mental Health Lead
  • Developing a Whole School Approach to Mental Health Workshop
  • Leading Mental Health from the Middle Programme
  • Carnegie Governance Lead for Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • MSc in Leadership of School Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Suite of Masterclasses

The School Mental Health Award currently has over 1000 schools working towards the framework. A recent impact study of the School Mental Health Award showed that:

94% of schools who worked towards the School Mental Health Award agreed that the award improved the mental health leadership in their schools.

88% of schools agreed that staff wellbeing improved

94% of schools agreed that the award created a more positive culture in their school

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health sits within a wider scope at the Carnegie School of Education titled ‘CreatED by Carnegie School of Education’ which has additional Research and Practice Centre’s which focus on:

Coaching, Mentoring and Professional Learning (CollectivED: The Centre for Coaching, Mentoring and Professional Learning)

LGBTQ+ Inclusion (Centre for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Education)

Mental Health in Schools (Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools)

Inclusive and Creative Learning through Story (Storymakers Company)

Race, Education and Decoloniality (Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality)

Supervision in Education (National Hub for Supervision in Education)

Our communities will build on the experiences and expertise of our members with facilitators offering challenge and insight to support reflection and to develop a further knowledge base.

Connecting what we know with what we do?

‘Although most people are naturally curious and social beings our professional lives can sometimes feel solitary.  We have each gained qualifications based on our own merit, secured a job by being edging out the competition and are performance-managed as an individual. Our working lives can be intense and workload means we sometimes feel more efficient by knuckling down to solve a problem, create a resource or face the day without the distraction of others.  But as a collective we can combine our expertise, we can co-construct better ways to approach the complexities we face and we can gain a sense of solidarity which makes us more powerful’.

Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Director of CollectivED.

Carnegie School Mental Health and Wellbeing Leads Community

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools has recently launched the free to join Carnegie School Mental Health and Wellbeing Leads Community.

Our aim is to build a community that supports and empowers school-based colleagues who are committed to strengthening the mental health and wellbeing for their whole school communities. Colleagues will have the opportunity to meet and engage with peers and experts within the field of School Mental Health.

The community will be developmental, with a range of monthly and bi-monthly activity. School colleagues will have the opportunity to access themed conversations led by Andy Mellor, Strategic Lead for the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools and National Director of Wellbeing at SAS.

Members will also have access to CPD, Podcasts and Webinars. Opportunities to attend roadshows and network meetings along with monthly ‘drop-ins’ at our School Mental Health Lead Lab where school mental health leads will be able to access advice, support and guidance from other school mental health leads and take part in small scale research projects and co-enquiry groups.

We look forward to welcoming people to the community.

If you have any questions about the community please do contact me: @Rachelbostwick1

Rachel Bostwick – r.bostwick@leedsbeckett.ac.uk