I first met the directors of SFE Academy during my work at the national charity SportsAble. Their enthusiasm for making a difference matched that of my own. Increasing brand awareness through my marketing background made perfect sense given that our ethos and values match my own.
Tiffany is a fully qualified SEN Teacher with a variety of experience in schools and other learning providers. As part of her dissertation, during her BA Ed at the University of Reading, she was asked by Deafax to continue her studies into the effects of modern technology on children’s hearing. Later, she embarked on a career in teaching, a highlight of which was working as a Deputy Principal in New Zealand. This is where she became interested in Sport and Psychology, particularly how Maori children and young adults are affected by modern day life.
On her return to the UK she decided to pursue her passion for psychology further by attaining her Degree in Psychology. Since undertaking her degree, she has been active in the voluntary sector and volunteered her services at SportsAble, a charity supporting people with a range of physical and sensory disabilities through the powerful medium of sport. During this period she was recruited by SFE-Academy, a supporter and partner of SportsAble. She is particularly looking forward to helping deliver the teaching, disability and well-being courses. She currently works as our Director of Marketing and Public Relations. However, her knowledge of SEN and Psychology are a passion in which she enjoys providing to SFE-Academy by contributing to our ‘IDEAWORKS’ learning technology laboratory.
I deliver programmes to empower groups within communities on promoting a positive approach to health and well-being. In addition, I am able to develop support on self-care and delivering meaningful programmes, in raising awareness of the value of managing health and well-being as individuals or groups. I am able to offer design services to business/educational settings that are specific to the needs of a target audience.
My background also includes having worked in Well Being and Student Engagement Programmes supporting both pastoral and academia, youth mentoring, primary and secondary education, referrals units and youth centres across the boroughs of Slough, Richmond, Ealing and Hounslow lifelong services. Over the past twenty-three years I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge skills and experience. I have a dynamic and relational approach to delivering my work and enjoy sharing my knowledge of the Women’s Projects, Work place well-being, Youth centred approaches, Mentoring, Work skills and PSHE.
What is the value of well-being in schools?
Well-being, just seems to be a buzz word at the moment, but should we take heed? Yes.
The national focus on children and young people’s well-being in recent years has been long overdue and now we have work to do, in fact, we are making matters worse from the lack of resources for children and young people, in and out of the classroom. Children and young people need education to include, how to understand and look after their well-being – paramount – before we can engage in any learning. (An element of the educational system I feel strongly about). But we need to shift the focus to preventing mental and health problems and reevaluating the need to build on resilience, we can do so much to improve the lives of so many children and young people.
One in ten young people between the age of five and 16 suffers from a diagnosed mental health problem – on average, that’s three pupils in every class. Referrals to specialist mental health services nearly doubled between 2010-11 and 2014-15. As a result, NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are overwhelmed, we see the issues with long waiting lists, remain undiagnosed, limited outreach and limited access to treatment and care that they need.
So, consider a class of thirty students, many of which have not yet accessed resources. Questions as educators, how do we diagnose such scenarios, where is the training and support in the class? Government has lost its focus and its paramount that educational providers take responsibility and prioritise well-being.
SFE-Academy and Youthology are building a movement for change, to recognise that well-being has to be a priority for schools and the education system needs re-balancing. We believe that schools are much more than centres of learning. Schools can provide the most reliable conduit to address a worrying trend, however, for schools to succeed in helping their students, our priorities as a nation must be realigned, and the education system must re-balance academic learning and well-being. It’s a win-win situation for schools, parents and students. More to the point, it is, what young people deserve.
Young people deserve an excellent education that prepares them academically and emotionally for the challenges they will face inside the classroom and for lifelong learning.
Well-being must be top of the agenda, when funding pastoral care is first to be removed from school agendas or efforts remain isolated and undervalued. It should be the opposite. Such work should be at the crux of our educational system and recognised at the highest level. We believe that each child deserves a dedicated place to learn to care for their own mental health, and it is our duty as a society to provide this. With schools at the helm, we can create a generation of resilient, healthy and confident individuals.
Well-being is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and well-being programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Well-being provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and risk of exclusion. This is high on the school agenda. The education system is unbalanced. There is too much emphasis on academic attainment and not enough focus on promoting the well-being of students.
With the new Ofsted Framework, we have to do more in schools, the new framework summarises the need to providers play a crucial role in ensuring that learners of all ages are equipped with the knowledge and skills that improve their life chances. Redefining and evaluating learners’ wider development is just as important to ensure that our young people can prosper, lead successful lives and make meaningful contributions to society. If young people are to develop the skills they need to succeed later in life, appropriate mental health support is essential. The new inspection framework presents an ideal opportunity to embed mental health and well-being at the heart of schools’, and Ofsted’s, work, while recognising the need to provide better support to schools and teachers to deliver appropriate guidance and to direct learners to the right support.
Finally, we have some recognition from Ofsted for more than a decade, there is an urgency to restore the curriculum and provide a holistic approach to learning.
SFE-Academy and Youthology can support and update existing legislation to enshrine well-being as a fundamental priority of schools.
What is the value of mental health and well-being in schools? We take a look at the value of well-being training in our education system. Are we doing enough to tackle the issue?