WER Project

By Trudy Cooper

November 26, 2020

‘Supporting the Psychological Needs of the Education Community during the COVID Pandemic”. – The Government’s Wellbeing for Education Return Project In September, schools and colleges welcomed back all their pupils after an unprecedented time of lockdown. Children’s services have worked extremely hard during this period to develop resources and provide support for education settings to help staff, children, young people and their families to cope with the emotional challenges arising from the COVID pandemic. In particular, to better equip education settings to support learners’ wellbeing, resilience and recovery. To help support local authorities, the Government launched a Wellbeing for Education Return (WER) Project. There are two parts to this project. 1. Development of a national training package which provides guidance and resources for education staff on responding to the impact of COVID-19 on the well-being of their learners. 2. Government funding to help local authorities identify and support nominated ‘local experts’ to adapt the national training package to meet the needs of the local context and then to coordinate and oversee the delivery of training to emotional wellbeing leads from each education setting. The ‘local experts’ will also have responsibility for ensuring ongoing post-training advice and support is provided to help education settings implement and maintain their learning. The nominated local experts in East Riding are Dr Elizabeth Holmes (Principal Educational Psychologist), Victoria Hanley (5-19 Strategic Lead Early Help and Prevention Service) and Helen Mitton (Area Senior Educational Psychologist).An information and sharing session was held on 12 November to which representatives from key stakeholder groups/partners were invited, including Shirley Pethick from the East Yorkshire Parent Carer Forum. The local training package has now been developed and is called ‘Supporting the Psychological Needs of the Education Community during the COVID Pandemic”. The training will be delivered over two sessions to nominated leads from education settings. The first session is taking place on Thursday 26th November, with an additional session being offered the following week for those unable to attend on the 26th. The second session will take place in January, with dates being agreed during session one. After attending the training session, nominated leads from each education setting will then disseminate the training information/resources within their own education setting community – staff, children young people and families. The project will be evaluated and the findings will be shared with the Department for Education (DfE) and key stakeholders/partners. Further details of the Wellbeing for Education Return project are in the table below. Wellbeing for Education Return Project ‘Supporting the Psychological Needs of the Education Community during the COVID Pandemic”. What the Project is seeking to achieve (outcomes for cyp) The project seeks to better equip schools and colleges to strengthen and build children and young people’s wellbeing, resilience and recovery in response to COVID-19. In addition, this project aims to address the onset of mental health difficulties to ensure those with pre-existing or emerging difficulties access the correct support. How this will be done – the steps involved in achieving the outcomes A national training package has been developed by the Anna Freud Centre. This provides guidance and resources for education staff on responding to the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of their students and pupils. Details of the training objectives are at the end of this table Deliverers of the localised training package are required to have experience of delivering mental health and wellbeing training, and experience of working with education settings to meet the needs of children and young people experiencing emotional wellbeing and mental health challenges. Project steps (and updates in red)The Project Leads (local experts) attend the one day training events to learn about the Training resources – Vick Hanley, Elizabeth Holmes and Helen Mitton attended Local training programme is developed• Helen Mitton has been leading on this and a training package is now developed Briefing session (in November) to be arranged for key stakeholder/partner representatives• The stakeholder meeting was held on 12 November Education settings are invited to identify one or two nominated leads to attend training (ie a Senior Leader, Mental Health Lead, SENCo)• Letters were sent to all educational settings and names of nominated leads have been collated Delivery of training programme by Educational Psychology Service & Early Help and Prevention Service Supervisors Session 1 – 26th November (with additional session on 2 Dec) Session 2 – in January (date to be agreed during Session 1)Evaluation to be carried out. Identification of post-training follow up to ensure training is disseminated and embedded within education settings. Production of a Directory of emotional wellbeing and mental health services available to support children and young people. How will the Project be evaluated According to the training objectives. Who makes up the core project group Elizabeth Holmes – Principal Educational Psychologist Helen Mitton – Area Senior Educational Psychologist Victoria Hanley – 5-19 Strategic Lead Early Help and Prevention Service. Who are the key partners/stakeholders A representative from the following:• Educational Psychology Service • Early Help and Prevention Service • CAMHS• Public Health • Safeguarding Board • Clinical Commissioning Group• Improvement and Learning Service• Early Years Support• FE College• Behaviour Support Team • Virtual School • LA Corporate Parent • East Yorkshire Parent Carer Forum (EYPCF)• The Young Leaders of East Riding (TYLER)How are parents/carers & CYP involved Kept updated via · EYPCF · TYLER· Youth and Family Support communication tools – Facebook / Twitter / Thirteen website How will this work be shared Through delivery of training to education leads (the nominated member of staff selected by the education setting to attend the training. This could be a mental health lead, SENCo, pastoral lead or SLT member. Education settings may wish to also involve school nurses. Sharing of training resources and associated guidance resources/publications The training objectives for education staff are to:• Increase knowledge of the potential mental health and wellbeing impact of COVID-19 on staff, children and young people and parents/carers• Build understanding of evidence-based responses and resources to support recovery• Develop knowledge to introduce education staff to evidence-based resources and structures for dissemination to children and young people and their families• Raise awareness of specialist and wider support services (statutory and independent) and when and how education professionals might signpost or refer children and young people, staff and parents/carers to them.

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