Looked-after children and previously looked-after children are more likely to experience the challenge of social, emotional and mental health issues than their peers. For example, they may struggle with executive functioning skills, forming trusting relationships, social skills, managing strong feelings (e.g. shame, sadness, anxiety and anger), sensory processing difficulties, foetal alcohol syndrome and coping with transitions and change. This can impact on their behaviour and education,...
It’s key that Virtual School Heads and designated teachers have awareness, training and skills regarding these children’s needs and how to support them, particularly in relation to behaviour management and mental health.
Many schools will have an officer responsible for making links with mental health services, and in the December 2017 ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health’ we outline plans to encourage schools to appoint a Designated Senior Lead (DSL) for mental health. Neither the designated teacher nor the virtual school head are expected to be mental health experts; however, they have an important role in sign-posting designated teachers to appropriate training and specialist services.
Positive mental health resource packs
In Bath and North East Somerset schools are asked to use the Positive mental health resource packs, both at Primary and Secondary phases. These activities are flexible. They can be used with whole classes, small groups or on an individual basis. Every school in B&NES has a hard copy of the pack and the activities can also be accessed for free from the Oxford Health CAHMS website
These are our suggested websites for resources and advice.
They are relevant to both schools and carers.