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Babington achieves pioneering mental health award

Posted on: 09/07/2021

Babington Academy has achieved the School Mental Health Award which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Babington was awarded a Bronze standard for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

Babington Academy provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including equine therapy, art therapy and small group CBT work.  Babington works closely with outside agencies including social care, NHS, the Educational Psychology Service and Children’s Early Intervention Psychology Service.

The school has also a number of staff dedicated to ensuring positive mental health and well-being of all their students.  Staff include Mental Health First Aiders, Student Welfare Officers, counsellors and mentors dedicated to ensuring all students mental health needs are met and therefore allowing them to achieve their potential, both academically and on a personal level.  Babington has risen to the challenges presented by the pandemic and created systems where students can self-refer for counselling and can also access mental health information by using QR codes displayed around the school.

Babington Academy Principal, Sara Fletcher, said, “I am extremely proud that our mental health provision has been recognised in this way.  We commit to making a profound positive difference to our students and our mental health support is an important element in achieving this vision.  I would like to thank team Babington for their relentless commitment to supporting our students mental health.”

Staff at Babington understand the importance of student mental health, in addition to caring for their own mental health.  Staff understand that all students should be able to access support if needed, in fact, during 2021 there has been a Babington Parent Carer Network which runs fortnightly sessions on various topics such as anxiety, stress, self-harm.  All parents/carers are welcome to attend and most recently this group was able to link with parents/carers of our new year 7s starting in September 2021, as part of their transition program.

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.

Professor Damien Page, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of the school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children and engaging with the wider community including staff and parents/carers.

“We’re truly proud to have worked with Babington Academy in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”

Nationally, more than 1000 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award.

Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.

“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Babington Academy and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”