Chesterfield school praised for ‘excelling’ in mental health support with top award
A Chesterfield secondary school has earned a prestigious award for its work to support both students and staff with their mental health.
Outwood Academy Newbold has been awarded Gold Status by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools after being found to be ‘excelling’ in all eight areas of the award framework, the highest grade available.
During its assessment, the Highfield Lane-based academy was found to have provided good support for its staff, students and their families during the pandemic, and that ‘closer relationships with families’ had been made.
It was also commended for its ‘proactive, not reactive’ approach to supporting students with their mental health – an approach which involves working with the student and their family as well as other agencies such as CAMHS, and working with other schools at a national level to share best practice.
Rob Southern, Head of School at Outwood Academy Newbold, said: “To be awarded Gold Status is an absolute phenomenal achievement for our school as it really recognises the hard work of both our students and staff.
“At Outwood we work tirelessly to put students first, and for us this goes beyond just academically. While we obviously want our students to succeed academically, we also want to ensure they are responsible citizens when they leave us, who can play key roles in their communities.
“To this aim, we want to make sure their mental health and wellbeing is looked after. We take immense pride in receiving this award and look forward to continuing to support our staff and students as best we can.”
The academy’s pastoral support team also received glowing praise in the assessment report for their efforts in addressing attendance issues, and its commitment to high-level training opportunities for staff:
“Where there have been issues with attendance, the pastoral team have worked tirelessly to explore the reasons why that might be so, and this has been greatly appreciated by the families,” the report said.
"The pastoral team was expanded to ensure it could meet pupils’ needs, including developing enhanced provision for students with ASD. The school recognises the need for expert and well-trained staff to support the mental health of pupils and many of the teachers and teaching assistants accessed online training throughout the lockdowns”.