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School is first in country to receive mental health award

Published on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A CITY primary school has become the first in the country to gain a national award for its mental health work.


Eyres Monsell Primary School has been awarded the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools, from Leeds Beckett University.


The award grants Eyres Monsell gold status under a ‘kitemark’-style scheme, and recognises that the school has put a number of measures in place to help ensure the wellbeing of both pupils and staff.


Activities introduced for all pupils at the school include yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes, plus the chance to take part in character-building programmes and ‘mindful moments’ of calm reflection.


Greater support has also been introduced for staff wellbeing, with training in mental health first aid and meditation.


Eyres Monsell’s headteacher Kerry Hill said: “We are delighted to have our hard work and commitment recognised in this way. We actively promote and champion positive mental health amongst our pupils, staff and the school community.


“By focusing on resilience, self-esteem and problem-solving, children develop vital skills which support them to be successful in their learning and wider relationships.”


Deputy city mayor responsible for education, Cllr Sarah Russell, said: “This is great news for Eyres Monsell and I’m pleased and proud that Leicester is blazing a trail when it comes to mental health in schools. I hope that many other local schools will sign up to take part in this scheme.”


Ward councillor Virginia Cleaver added: “My fellow ward councillor, Elaine Pantling, and I would both like to send everyone at the school our congratulations on this award. We’re very proud of Eyres Monsell Primary School and we know how hard Kerry and all the staff have worked for this achievement.”


Professor Damien Page, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of a school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children. We’re truly proud to have worked with Eyres Monsell Primary School in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”


The award is also supported by social enterprise Minds Ahead. Nationally, more than 300 schools have signed up to take part in the new mental health award.