MKC in pioneering partnership mental health work with local schools

Thursday 8 March 2018


A ground-breaking mental health programme to train school leaders and governors across Milton Keynes is launching this month.

More than 70 schools have signed up to the development programme, which is being led by Milton Keynes Council and delivered by Leeds Beckett University and social enterprise Minds Ahead. 

The university’s Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, is the first of its kind in the country. It involves working with school leaders to set up effective whole-school approaches.

Briefing sessions for school governors also form part of the programme.  Schools within the project will also have a mental health and wellbeing lead governor who will use the Centre’s specialist online support and assessment programmes.

Zoe Nolan, Councillor for Children and Families said: “I am really excited about this training which so many of our schools are going to do. Young people today are under so much more pressure. If schools can help young people more in this area it will really make a difference.

“The innovative collaboration between Milton Keynes Council, the university’s Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools and Minds Ahead will enable all those involved to share best practice and make sure that schools in Milton Keynes have the expertise to support children with mental health issues.”

Minds Ahead founder and CEO Dean Johnstone said: “From our previous work with schools, it was clear that there was little structured guidance and support regarding mental health.”

Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett, said: “As one of the country’s best performing providers of teacher education, we’re committed to working with schools nationwide to improve outcomes for children.

“This new partnership - the first of its kind - will establish a framework of support and provide much-needed expertise in an area that is becoming an increasing concern in the country’s schools.”