School Mental Health Specialist
The course will adopt a public mental health, sociological, approach to mental wellbeing and will provide students working in schools and colleges with a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of evidence-based strategies to support children.
Use the new Department for Education training grant to part-fund this course
From September 2021 any state school or college will be able to access a grant of about £1,200 to cover the costs of completing senior mental health leadership training. A full list of approved courses will be published at the start of September. As a postgraduate course exclusively focused on school mental health, we are applying to be on the list of approved courses. If this course is approved, your school or college will be able to access and use the grant to cover the costs of this course.
Having a qualified mental health specialist on the staff team is a highly-effective way to help the young people in your setting to thrive. This unique school-based training programme is aligned with school processes and means that participants will be making a difference to their schools from the moment they start this course.
During this course you will:
- Develop specialist knowledge in the emerging area of public mental health drawn from the very latest evidence and research
- Understand how to promote protective factors for good mental health and wellbeing
- Join a network of School Mental Health Specialists committed to equality and social justice
- Develop the confidence to improve the mental health of young people in your setting
Adopting a public mental health and sociological approach, you will apply all learning to your own school or college context. You will develop new knowledge and practice in applying sociological, evidence-based mental health support strategies in your setting. Your work will focus on the issues most common in schools and colleges so that you can assess and deliver evidence-based strategies.
You will learn how to work in partnership with your staff, students and their families effectively so that plans for interventions and support are agreed and outcomes are set which can be evaluated.
As part of this postgraduate structured development programme, you will be supervised throughout the two years. Supervision provides the opportunity to discuss your work, deepen your understanding and support effective practice.
You will also have a learning mentor, either your school’s senior lead for mental health or another member of the Senior Leadership Team throughout the time you are studying.
Contact the teaching team from Minds Ahead, our partner organisation which helps deliver the course, to find out more about how we can help you improve the mental health of your pupils.
Everything you need to know
The School Mental Health Specialist programme is open to all schools and colleges teaching 3 to 18-year olds. This includes special, alternative provision, independent and international schools. There is no requirement for having prior postgraduate or undergraduate qualifications.
All applicants need to work in a role which supports identified pupils with mental health needs and be part of an educational establishment that has a Senior Lead for Mental Health in place who is the line manager of the School Mental Health Specialist, or a member of the senior leadership willing to support the participant throughout the programme.
All applicants need to have the support of the headteacher to undertake the programme. The Senior Lead for Mental Health / Headteacher must have filled in and completed the reference template for the applicant that can be found through the application page on the Minds Ahead website. All applicants should satisfy our university English language requirements.
Level 7 Core Modules:
Year 1 (for 2021/22 delivery year)
- Module 1: Promoting protective factors for good mental health and wellbeing
- Module 2: Early identification of mental health support needs
- Module 3: Supporting children and young people with mental health needs
Year 2 (for 2022/23 delivery year)
- Module 4: Parent / carer involvement and pupil participation to support good mental health and wellbeing
- Module 5: Working with school staff and outside agencies to support good mental health and wellbeing
- Module 6: Work based project - Sustaining and embedding positive mental health and wellbeing
Running a special academy which serves children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, makes it clear to me that we need new and informed training routes into working in mental health in schools.
I am pleased that Minds Ahead are working to develop the School Mental Health Specialist and I am delighted to be a part of the group designing this new qualification.