In the summer 2022, we were proud to be awarded the 'AcSeed Accreditation' for Emotional Health and Well-Being in Schools.
The AcSEED Initiative is a concept founded by young people with direct personal experience of mental illness at a young age. Their combined experiences have been used to identify and recommend a range of best practices that could have helped significantly in identifying and supporting their emerging emotional difficulties during school years. They were unanimous in viewing school as a pivotal environment that significantly influenced their emotional development, and in the belief that targeted intervention within this educational and social framework could have made a significant difference in helping to contain and manage their mental health vulnerabilities.
The AcSEED Award is a quality assurance mark presented to schools that have made a substantial effort to support the mental health of their students. It encourages and rewards the provision of high quality emotional wellbeing services, from the broad provision of information right through to appropriately targeted intervention. Based on best practices, the scheme defines a set of standard criteria that all schools must meet in order to receive the award.
Some of the 28 areas the The AcSEED review team were particularly impressed with:
- Child and Family Support Service.
- Mindfulness and PATH sessions.
- Grief recovery counsellor.
- Collaboration with Tameside & Glossop MIND to identify and implement wellbeing improvement initiatives.
- Appointed Mental Health & Wellbeing Governor.
- Comprehensive and very readable MHW policy.
- MyConcern used to raise and robustly track concerns.
- School values connect well with emotional wellbeing support.
- Worry Monsters (nice variation on worry boxes).
- Quiet areas setup and equipped in each class.
- Access to educational psychologist / play therapist.
- Strong links to external organisations that can provide MHW support and services that are beyond the scope of in-school resources.
- Playground friends.
- Additional support available to potentially vulnerable groups such as young carers.
- Emotional Wellbeing training to all staff that helps to build a common understanding and language.
- Strong focus on staff wellbeing, including dedicated policy, wellbeing committee, questionnaires, notice board with signposting, etc.
- Wellbeing themed days/weeks.
- Very strong focus on providing a comprehensive whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing support.
- Good range of future improvement initiatives identified.