It can be tempting for schools under pressure to see work to promote wellbeing and address mental health problems as a luxury or optional extra. This however runs contrary to the strong evidence on the links between well-being, learning and school improvement, evidence which has recently been brought together by Public Health England101. Some indicative evidence from this briefing confirms:
- children with greater well-being, lower levels of mental health problems and greater emotional attachment to school achieve higher grade scores, better examination results, better attendance and drop out less often,
- social and emotional skills are a more significant determinant of academic attainment than IQ.
- the strong correlation between the quality of PSHE in a school and the school’s overall effectiveness.
Schools can be confident that a focus on well-being and mental health not only enables them to provide healthy and happy school environments for pupils and staff and prepare the citizens of tomorrow with sound character and values, but also directly supports their more immediate mission: the promotion of effective learning.
“What works in promoting social and emotional well-being and responding to mental health problems in schools? the full report.
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