Taunton Teaching Alliance
Taunton Teaching Alliance
Taunton Teaching Alliance
Taunton Teaching Alliance

Social, Emotional and Mental Health – Leadership Programme

Social Emotional Mental  Health – Leadership Programme:

  • supports the development and achievement of Somerset’s Children and Young People’s Plan by addressing the needs schools may have in implementing Core Standards to support the SEMH of both students and staff
  • is open to Secondary, Primary and Special schools

Participating schools will:

Embrace the key aims of the programme, which are that:

  • all children and adults in school have improving SEMH in order to support them to develop and grow
  • all adults in schools will be aware of and take shared responsibility for the SEMH needs of the children and young people in their care so that they are able to put into place assessment and support mechanisms for vulnerable children and young people in line with school policy, the SEMH Core Standards and National Teacher Standards
  • positive SEMH will be embedded so that there is clear policy, procedure and everyday practice which promotes social skills, emotional wellbeing, resilience, confidence and self-esteem


Ensure that during the training programme:

  • a member of the SLT (which may be the Headteacher) is present for all 10 training sessions and is able to build a presence as the SEMH Champion for their school
  • school staff support the SEMH Champion through attending relevant training session(s) so that the school capacity can be extended
  • an SEMH audit is carried out with an SEMH development plan and policy developed from this
  • knowledge, understanding and the capacity to support children’s SEMH is an integral part of the school development plan
  • sessions for parents to help them understand and support aspects of their childrens SEMH are offered at least half yearly
  • schools participate in their local Team Around the School process

Following the training programme:

  • participating schools share their learning at the conference which will be held at the end of the programme
  • in the second year support at least one other local school in developing their SEMH policy, procedures and practice


A summary of the training offer and the expectations of participating schools:

Session 1: Creating a Mentally Healthy School 

Mental Health is everybody’s business – recognise that health and wellbeing, and a safe learning environment, contribute significantly to the achievement and life chances of children and young people. This can be realised by developing a whole-school approach to health and wellbeing and through working in effective partnerships at both the universal level and to meet targeted need.

  • What is mental health? An introduction to understanding mental health and how it can impact on progress and attainment.
  • What is SEMH? Covering aspects of: Behaviour, Emotional Literacy, Mental Health, Anti-Bullying, Evidence based targeted work
  • SEMH Core standards
  • Looking at the evidence – Key documents
  • Tackling stigma – Determining the issues
  • Resources to support schools

Session 2: Leading and developing SEMH policy and practice in your school 

Addressing the SEND Core Standards for SEMH:

  • Creating an SEMH Policy – What it should look like. Work of this type in schools has shown to improve behaviour, learning, emotional literacy, mental health and OFSTED ratings
  • Auditing current policy practice and provision in line with current Ofsted and NICE guidelines
  • Identifying school priorities
  • Developing a whole school approach through a clear rational and policy or group of policies to support SEMH using evidence based practice

Session 3: Using the Behaviour and Vulnerability Profiling tool.  Supporting Transition and Vulnerable Children 

Using the BVPT to:

  • Identify vulnerable pupils through a combination of risk factors
  • Track the support they receive
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of interventions they receive

Please note the BVPT is recommended for use in tracking the impact of the work of the Team around the School.

  • Effectiveness as a transition tool


Session 4: Understanding the importance of early attachment, trauma and loss and their implications for learning and behaviour 

Provide an overview of what is meant and understood by ‘attachment’ and how children with attachment difficulties may present in the classroom:

  • Explore the impact of significant trauma and losses and how this can affect learning
  • Develop guidelines and strategies for staff to support pupils who have experienced significant relational trauma and losses
  • Nature and Nurture an introduction to the Neuroscience of Attachment
  • Attachment theory how can we make school better or worse for children with attachment difficulties? Behaviours and responses. Signposts for theory into practice. How attachment aware is your school?
  • Good Enough parenting


Session 5: Collaborative Problem Solving 

Practical guidance on a range of skills and strategies that will be effective in dealing with potentially challenging situations:

  • drawing on the work of Ross Greene (Lost at School 2008)
  • increase knowledge, understanding and confidence when working with C&YP with SEMH needs
  • Guidance for staff on working collaboratively with parents and the child so that our response to challenging behaviour is primarily planned and proactive rather than emergent and reactive

To explore a different strategy other than rewards and sanctions as these often do not work with our most challenging children.


Session 6: What works in building resilience and coping skills in children and young people in schools

Effective evidence based support for mental health and resilience.  Using case studies to discuss approaches, programmes and interventions which, when well designed and implemented, show repeated and clear evidence of positive impacts on:

  • academic learning, motivation, and sense of commitment and connectedness with learning and with school.
  • staff well-being, reduced stress, sickness and absence, improved teaching ability and performance.
  • pupil well-being including happiness, a sense of purpose, connectedness and meaning.
  • the development of the social and emotional skills and attitudes that promote learning, success, well-being and mental health, in school and throughout life.
  • the prevention and reduction of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.
  • improving school behaviour, including reductions in low-level disruption, incidents
  • fights, bullying, exclusions and absence
  • reductions in risky behaviour – such as impulsiveness, uncontrolled anger, violence, bullying and crime, early sexual experience, alcohol and drug use

Based on National Children’s Bureau  review by Prof Katherine Weare and Young Minds advice.


Session 7: Understanding and supporting the most common mental health difficulties in children and young people

This session will be split by key stage: 1 and 2; 3 and 4 and will address –

Managing emotions, Anxiety, Low mood and depression,

Self-esteem, Self-harm, and Eating disorders through the following overview each:

  • What are the signs and symptoms of each issue above and how can they be differentiated
  • Signposting to easy to access and use resources
  • Practical guidance as to what interventions you can use to support
  • At what point do you seek further help

Session 8: How to promote positive mental health in schools 

Improving awareness of proven practices as well as available resources. Breaking down stigma through:

  • Incorporating into PHSE curriculum
  • Making good use of simple steps such as notice boards and information sessions
  • Involving students through school council, peer mentoring, supporting mental health charities
  • Promoting mental health and wellbeing
  • Using outside support
  • Mindfulness practice

Session 9: Developing a resilient and emotionally healthy staff 

Ensuring children are supported in their health and well-being by ensuring that staff are well supported through:

  • Assessing the emotional health and well-being needs of staff
  • Supporting staff to take responsibility for their own understanding of mental health
  • Developing the use of Emotional First Aid (Guy Winch)
  • Enabling staff to reflect on and to take actions to enhance their own well-being
  • Promoting work-life balance for staff
  • Establishing open lines of communication

Session 10: Wrapping up – sharing what has been achieved and planning for Year 2 

Conference session which shares the learning with each other and with other interested schools

Presentations from each school to:

  • Recap the learning journey
  • What has been done
  • Impact so far
  • What next


Structure and content of additional training session to support schools to support Parents

In the context of the Somerset’s Children and Young People’s Plan the purpose of the day is to provide schools with the support they may need to provide parents with the information they may find helpful in order to understand the developmental needs of their children and for this to be done in such a way that it is manageable for schools and links effectively with the model of SCC Early Help.

Additional staff identified by the school are invited to attend this session. The vision is that you would have a school team able to deliver this to parents.

Session 1. Promoting your child’s emotional wellbeing and mental health – understanding the importance of good attachments and play.

  • Teaching parents the value of good attachment, how to make good attachments, circumstances which challenge good attachments
  • Identifying the importance of ‘play’ at all ages in developing life skills

Identifying the signs and symptoms of each if the issues below, how they can be differentiated including:

Signposting to easy to access and use resources

Practical guidance as to what interventions you can use to support

At what point do you seek further help

Session 2. Spotting and Responding to Early Signs of Anxiety, Depression in your child

Session 3. How to support your child if they self-harm or express suicidal thoughts

Session 4 Early Signs of Eating Disorders and how to support your child

Session 5.  Building Resilience and Coping Skills in Children and Young People at home


Evidence of impact in schools

  • Improved provision and practice in which addresses the Core Standards for SEMH
  • A reduction in the number of high level incidents which have an SEMH basis and a reduction in number of days lost by young people due to Fixed Term Exclusions as a result of behaviours related to SEMH needs
  • Improved academic progress
  • Improved attendance
  • Decreased number of referrals to outside agencies
  • SEMH leads identified in schools and roles integrated into school leadership structures
  • Schools will have audited their SEMH provision and have a robust SEMH Policy in place
  • Children and YP with identified SEMH needs have appropriate and outcomes-related interventions evidenced by improved behaviour, increased attainment and engagement in learning