Schools and colleges have an important part to play in the support system of children and young people, and particularly in the promotion of mental wellbeing. Their efforts to promote the physical and mental health of the student population can positively reinforce pupils’ attainment and achievement, improving their wellbeing and enabling them to thrive and achieve their full potential.

The Mental Health Toolkit for Schools has been developed by Public Health England, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and CORC, to support the improvement of health outcomes for children, young people and their families.

The toolkit supports schools and colleges by providing information to staff about the range of validated tools that are available to help measure subjective mental wellbeing amongst the student population. These tools focus on subjective measures of positive wellbeing – for example asking a child or young person about what they are feeling - and can be complemented by other objective measures, such as attendance and attainment, which are collected routinely in schools, helping education professionals to make use of the data collected to identify the mental wellbeing needs of students and determine how best to address these.

Who is the tool kit for?

The Mental Health Toolkit for Schools will be of interest to senior leadership teams and those with responsibility for Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND), inclusion, Personal Social Health and Economic education (PSHE), welfare, pastoral or mental health support. It will also be of interest to organisations from across the health, voluntary and community service sector that are supporting schools and colleges to improve mental health outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Overview of content

Section one: explores what we mean by mental wellbeing
Section two: practice examples from a range of schools and colleges that have applied tools to practice
Section three: practical advice for introducing wellbeing instruments to students
Section four: compendium of validated instruments that can be used to measure student’s subjective mental wellbeing