This submission provides YoungMinds’ response to the draft proposals set out in the Education Inspection Framework 2019 and the accompanying inspection handbooks.
YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health. At YoungMinds, our insights and recommendations are informed by the experience of children, young people, parents and carers, and the professionals that we work with, as well as evidence and data that we have collected or commissioned.
We currently work with schools and colleges all over England. In the past two years, we have trained over 10,000 teachers, school leaders and other school staff in academic resilience. We also run a 360° Schools’ Community - a free digital and e-comms platform for school staff to share information, top tips and best practice relating to resilience building, wellbeing and mental health. Currently more than 8,000 school staff across England are part of our 360° Schools’ Community.
This submission will draw heavily on the insights from our 360° Schools’ Community, as well as the lived experiences of children, young people, parents and carers, and specific research that we have commissioned.
- YoungMinds welcomes the broad direction of travel of the new inspection framework, which we believe will mark a significant change in the culture and role of inspections, for the benefit of children and young people, and staff alike.
- However, the draft framework does not give sufficient consideration to evaluating the role that schools and colleges play in supporting their pupils’ mental health, or in promoting good mental health and wellbeing.
- This is despite significant developments in education policy in the last three years, which aim to support and empower schools and colleges to develop and implement whole-school approaches to mental health and wellbeing.
- YoungMinds recommends that the inspection framework should be strengthened in line with existing Departmental guidance to make it clear that inspectors will recognise and assess the role of educational providers in:
- developing and implementing a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing;
- developing and implementing processes to provide or facilitate early support when there are concerns about a student’s mental health;
- ensuring that behaviour management policies and practice are informed by an understanding that behaviour can be an indicator of mental health needs or other underlying problems.