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NAPCE’s 2017 Conference- A reflection on what was learnt

Schools and the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Their Pupils

April 2017

Reflections on the Conference
NAPCE’s major annual conference on Schools and the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Their Pupils was held at the end of last month at Newman University, Birmingham. With over 150 educationalists coming together to access the highly engaging and relevant presentations and workshops.

The conference provided great insight into supporting young people to access appropriate help early impacting on improving attendance and closing the academic gap for the most disadvantaged young people, including those with additional needs.

With the likes of Mary Hinton from YoungMinds as a key speaker, the conference presented theory and evidence on current approaches in practice to preventing mental health problems escalating, all of which tied to improving institutions wellbeing as a preventative as well as a cure. The workshops focussed on different strategies, from engagement in SEN, attachment, and self-esteem, to the role of the school counselor.

What really stood out, particularly as the topic remains central to current media coverage, was just how much is already going on in the schools that presented to consciously prevent mental health issues and increase the long-term wellbeing of their students. Not only that but how it is being done largely without additional funding or specific external agency support (which in no way is belittling the need for it).

Following the conference, the NAPCE executive board reflected that with so much outstanding practice going on, the key to moving the system on as a whole is how best we go about sharing this so practitioners and schools can collaboratively learn from each other. The conference was one example of this medium, but with modern technology providing a global platform, NAPCE has decided to redesign its website so that it is an active bank of current resources. We hope that you can not just learn from it, but add to it over the coming months.

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