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?
The health and fitness industry has grown and as a nation we are becoming more interested in alternative health regimes. The fitness industry has grown in popularity around the world and alternative well-being is top of the agenda. Keeping fit and valuing our well-being, is highly recommended by personal trainers, doctors and other health practitioners to their patients. Furthermore, as an industry, we search out an instructor who can introduce us to a safe practice and have the right qualities and competencies to be a trainer.
A recent experience rushing from my daily chores to my yoga class, I but found a cover teacher instead. Yes, I was a little disappointed but inside my chattering mind, I thought just ‘give it a go’. As the class went on, I wasn’t assured by her practice. I felt there was no connection between her students and no flow and no adaptation to my needs made in the class. No encouragement and no emotional quotient. Yoga is supposed to be about looking inward and having a mind-body connection, not about posing.
Ali Valdez sums up the health and fitness fitness industry and how the lack of knowledge, philosophy or emotional maturity to your practice can be detrimental to clients. “The fitness phenomenon has grown to big business, you can become a yoga instructor doing a 200 hour certificate program! Fantastic article on bogus trainers that don’t reflect the meditative skills, physical and spiritual guidance associated with genuine trainers.”
I’ve recently questioned the fitness industry as a whole and in the UK. There are no official qualifications required to teach yoga, so anyone can technically create a class and charge the “I saw you coming prices” for one to one lessons. Paul Fox from The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) explains. That the fitness industry has become ‘shorter, less-vigorous, cheaper courses, which are mopping up the increasing appetite for teacher training.’
So, here’s my conclusion, to all this confusion the fitness industry if you are planning to step into any instruction programme. I would invest in time and money with accredited certification. Surely, there is a ‘duty of care’ as an instructor to provide validity as a qualified trainer. Therefore, protect the consumer. The potential consequences of this lack of regulation are poor competencies, potential injury to the client, and poor public perception of personal trainers. Additionally, it isn’t known whether personal trainers are meeting the needs of their clients. The criteria used in hiring them seems not to be clear.
Finally, I think that with the right tools trainers should project lifelong gains and to deliver the correct training processes. It is in the best interests of the training establishments that there is available support to deliver high quality, professional and a confident approach.
Bogus trainers? Maybe. A way forward for for the industry? to coin a phrase ” Things can only get better”