New film launched by YoungMinds focuses on mental wellbeing in schools

Ofsted is being urged to reexamine its inspection framework priorities in a powerful new film by young people’s mental health charity YoungMinds.

The campaign urges young people, school staff, parents and members of the public to take part by telling Ofsted what they think makes a school ‘outstanding’ by sending a message to Ofsted via the campaign’s website.

Happiful spoke with Lou, who is Head of Health and Social Care at an established academy, and asked for her thoughts on the film. Lou said, “With pressures rising for students and staff within school, it’s inevitable that mental health will be impacted. Our children are the heart of our school and society and if we can’t equip them with the skills they need to manage their mental health, we can’t build a mentally healthy society in the future. This video is an eye opener to what our priority should be - happy healthy humans.”

Ofsted, currently in public consultation on its new draft framework due to come into force later this year, is being urged to make three significant changes to the proposed framework: to make sure schools get credit for making wellbeing and mental health a priority; identifying when pupils are struggling with their mental health and helping them get support and understanding the links between behavioural issues and mental health.

“While schools shouldn’t be expected to do the job of specialist mental health services, they do have an important role to play in promoting wellbeing, and signposting young people to where they can get help if problems are emerging,” Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said.

“Many schools and teachers do amazing work already, but, sadly, the current inspection framework doesn’t place enough value on this. And so, when schools have to make difficult decisions about how to spend their limited budgets, it can be hard for them to make wellbeing a priority. There are some welcomed improvements in Ofsted’s new proposed framework, but there also areas which need strengthening to ensure that student wellbeing is a crucial part of the education system.”

Research from YoungMinds found:

  • Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem, with many more going through times when they struggle to cope.
  • 95% of teachers said they had taught a child who they believe is experiencing anxiety.
  • 83% of teachers do not believe that teachers have sufficient support for their own wellbeing and mental health.
  • 81% of young people said that they would like their school or college to teach them more about mental health.
  • 48% of young people struggling with their mental health sought help from their teachers (most commonly cited professional).

You can Tell Ofsted what you think makes for an outstanding school here. Ofsted’s consultation closes on 5 April.

The brief for the film was developed in partnership with 64 Million Artists and a group of YoungMinds activists. It was produced by Objekt Films and directed by James Baines. Each scenario in the film is based on real experiences reported by young people or teachers that YoungMinds works with.

For free advice and support for parents, call the YoungMinds helpline on 0808 802 5544.

If you are worried about your mental health, you may benefit from speaking to a professional. Enter your location in the box below to find a counsellor near you.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash