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Whole-school approach to pre-emptively reduce anxiety by prioritising wellbeing

5 min read
Cara Carey, Development Lead, Teach First, UK Christopher Terry, Development Lead, Teach First, UK The negative impact of mental health conditions on academic performance is well documented (Agnafors et al, 2021). It is logical therefore to try to address this pre-emptively, ensuring that students are happy and supported at school, rather than only addressing mental health when students are in crisis or need professional support. Weare and Markham (2005) advocate for taking a whole-school approach to mental health support. Across a range of British schools in the UK and overseas, we have implemented strategies that can be rolled out as whole-school preventative support. Figure 1 below summarises our approach, with the pre-emptive measures (the focus of this case study) in purple, and more targeted and personalised follow up in blue. Figure 1: Whole-school approach to mental health support When I took on the role of Head of Sixth Form in a mixed-comprehensive school in W

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