Shebbear College in Devon has achieved the prestigious Wellbeing Award for Schools, following a rigorous inspection of the school’s mental health and emotional wellbeing provision for both pupils and staff.
One of just a few schools in the local area to be awarded this certification, Shebbear College said it has been working towards this for the past 12 months, with the initiative being led by wellbeing coordinator Lucy Taylor and pastoral lead Fran Lovett. This award, run in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau, focuses on the long-term culture of the whole school, using an evidence-based framework to ensure that mental health and wellbeing continue to sit at the heart of school life.
Shebbear College has a history of providing outstanding pastoral care to its pupils, and in January 2021, opened its Health and Wellbeing Centre (HAWC) offering daily care and support for pupils.
Pastoral Lead, Fran Lovett said, “At Shebbear, wellbeing and pastoral care has always been a strong focus. As we’re a smaller school, the teachers know all of the pupils and we are very quick to notice if something is not quite right. HAWC has been open for 18 months now and is at the heart of the school’s pastoral care with a fantastic team of trained staff. Seeing how much of a positive impact this is having on our pupils is fantastic.
“We have some fantastic pupil groups, including our ‘Mental Health Ambassadors’, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Group and the Allies Group (LGBTQ+ and those that support them). Pupil voice is so important in the decision making process in schools and we are looking to develop more pupil groups going forward. I hope that by gaining this award, it will help to increase awareness and understanding of teenage mental health and the issues faced by young people today.”
Head, Caroline Kirby, said ‘We are extremely proud that our strong pastoral care has been formally recognised in this way. As parents, we all want our children to achieve academically, on the sports field, on the stage. But what is more important is that they are happy and confident at school with the right support in place to enable them to flourish. This accolade is testament to the outstanding wellbeing care provided by our amazing pastoral team, which we will continue to develop and improve going forward.
The inspection report said of Shebbear College: “The school is a very welcoming, happy and inspiring environment and the children do well due to the emphasis on their wellbeing and aspiration as well as the small pupil numbers and an individualised approach.”
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