Derby college awarded certificate of excellence for work safeguarding mental wellbeing
Landau Forte College Derby is delighted to announce that it has been awarded the School Mental Health Award, as delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. The school was awarded Gold standard – the only secondary school in Derbyshire to achieve this.
The school showed that it was excelling across all eight competencies of the School Mental Health Award: Leadership and Strategy; Organisational structure and culture – staff; Organisational structure and culture – pupils; Support for staff; Professional development and learning; Support for pupils; Working with parents and carers; Working with external services.
Landau Forte College Derby has used the framework designed by the Award to develop its mental health and wellbeing strategies, structures and practices over previous years. Staff and student wellbeing is prioritised at the school, which understands that success should not be measured just be grades but by supporting everyone involved.
Inspectors for the Award noted that:
- All staff in the school work hard to build relationships with students to ensure they have open conversations and are trusted by students. They are quick to identify students who are struggling and are confident in dealing with issues as they arise. No issue is ignored through being considered trivial and staff know how to seek help if they are unsure on how to respond to an issue;
- The school has established a clear referral route and there is a wide variety of support on offer to the most vulnerable students. This is led by the full-time counsellor on site, as well as placements for four trainee counsellors, so that there is always someone for students to talk to.
- Peer mentoring has been in place for 12 years and has proven to be very successful in that time. The school has also introduced a student parliament which has a clearly defined role and has helped drive the mental health agenda; and
- There is a very supportive and open-door culture, which is reflected by the school’s high staff retention rates. Staff feel supported by the school leadership and governors, and positive wellbeing is modelled by the Trust’s executive staff. This was also identified in a staff survey.
The Award also identified that staff wellbeing was a clear priority at Landau Forte College Derby. The support of the Landau Forte Charitable Trust was identified here, as the CEO has invested in more support through innovations like flexible working, reviewing the school calendar to reduce ‘pinch points’, reducing workload, and introducing mindfulness training.
The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen students’ 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.
Jane Hornby, Safeguarding Lead at Landau Forte College Derby, said:
“We are all delighted to receive the Gold Award for mental health! This is a fantastic achievement and shows how much effort we have put in as a school to promote the positive mental health and emotional wellbeing of our students and staff. We know how important this is to the successful running of the school and it really reflects our belief in developing the whole child, rather than just focusing on results”
Alison Brannick, Principal at Landau Forte College Derby, said:
“Congratulations to Jane who has worked tirelessly on our mental health and wellbeing practice – this is so deserved for everything she has done. We take our responsibility to staff and to students very seriously and have worked hard to embed wellbeing strategies into the very structure of school life.
“This past year has challenged all of us in ways we never could have imagined, but we have come through it stronger due to the framework we have put in place, and I know that my incredible team will keep on supporting our students in every way they can. This isn’t the end of our work protecting mental wellbeing, but rather confirmation that what we are doing is working, and so we should keep on doing it.”