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Is it time to inspect schools’ mental health support services?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, May 9, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Should mental health and wellbeing be considered important factors as to whether a school should be rated as ‘outstanding’? Would an Ofsted measure/judgement in this area make a difference to the emotional wellbeing of staff and pupils if this was the case?

    ‘Psychologists are calling on Ofsted to add a new measure when inspecting schools – that of how well a school supports the mental health and wellbeing of its staff and pupils.

    A briefing paper produced by the British Psychological Society (BPS) says now is the “ideal opportunity” for Ofsted to embed mental health and wellbeing at the heart of its inspections and guidance – as it currently undertakes a review of its school inspection framework.

    BPS director of policy and communications Kathryn Scott said: “One of the things we’d like to see is that for a school to be 'outstanding', all members of staff should be able to identify when a child is struggling [with mental health] and where to send them for support.”’

    Would this be a good step or cause more problems for schools who are trying to support children and staff who are suffering poor mental health?

  2. ajrowing

    ajrowing Lead commenter

    It would make a difference, but I doubt it would be in a good way.
    stonerose likes this.
  3. Crommo89

    Crommo89 New commenter

    Elephant in the room!
    Shouldn't the issue be "Why are so many staff and pupils having these issues?"
  4. Crommo89

    Crommo89 New commenter

    Right, so it seems that psychologist (with probably little knowledge of what is expected from teachers) are saying that Ofsted should be inspecting how schools deal with the mental health issues that agencies like Ofsted have caused by their expectations and inspections.
    That seems to me a bit like saying it's the customers' fault that a restaurant serves rubbish food and that if the customers were better, the restaurant would improve. Duh.
  5. ajrowing

    ajrowing Lead commenter

  6. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Schools should be required to show staff turnover in their statistics. They also should show age distribution of staff.
  7. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Schools should also be required to disclose how many members of staff have been diagnosed with or informed the school of a mental health issue, regardless of whether or not they have taken sick leave as a result, and how the school supported them.

    There is already an Ofsted questionnaire staff are asked to fill in: this should include questions about mental health and how staff feel the school dealt with any issues.
  8. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    Surely the first question in any OFSTED Questionnaire should read :
    Are you going to answer
    A. Truthfully
    B. So that OFSTED go away quickly and stop asking me questions that if I answer truthfully I will be in trouble.
    C. With what management has told you to answer.
  9. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    The questionnaire does seem somewhat redundant given that people are afraid to be honest.
    stonerose likes this.
  10. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    I’m being very careful here but speaking from experience schools are getting round to all sorts of “well being” packages (oh how the private sector is cashing in) eg counselling, Occupation Health, phased returns etc. What they totally fail to address and are in complete denial about is their systematic failure to recognise workload, the accountability culture, performance pressure and bullying as the CAUSES of staff mental decline and illness. Will Osted actually listen to staff on cause or will school be able to flash their latest ‘well being’ package brochure and that be enough? I don’t hold out much hope for the staff voice being heard.
  11. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    My school is very keen on obtaining OH reports.

    I am not entirely sure why because going from experience I am pretty damn sure they don't read them.
    stonerose likes this.
  12. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Why when It is anonymous and done online?

    Please, please do fill in the questionnaire and be honest to a fault.
  13. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Schools have "Mental Health Support Services?"

    Well if they do they my school have kept that damn well hidden.
    stonerose likes this.
  14. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Because my school is so small that we are easily identifiable and being honest to a fault unfortunately can come with consequences. I was what I'd like to call diplomatically honest in my responses during Ofsted and I was brutally honest in the whole trust staff wellbeing survey earlier in the year. Doesn't seem to have had an impact... Is this just more pointless information gathering?
  15. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    If schools need mental health support services then surely that is a sign our education system is phoooked?
    Sally006 and MarieAnn18 like this.

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