A high school in Southall has been given an award for its outstanding work in supporting students, staff and parents with their wellbeing and mental health.
Featherstone High School was handed the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) this month for carrying out a shift in policies and practice to make sure mental health and wellbeing sit at the heart of everyday school life.
The WAS award was set up in 2017 by the National Children’s Bureau charity in response to a survey it carried out the year before which had showed a rising number of school pupils in the UK were suffering from mental health issues. More than half of schools reported a large increase in anxiety or stress among children, and almost as many reported a rise in the problem of cyberbullying.
So, in partnership with Optimus Education, the NCB created the new award to recognise those schools in the country that were carrying out outstanding work to promote mental health and wellbeing. As part of the award attainment process, a programme of advice and support is provided beforehand to help schools change their long-term culture around staff and pupil wellbeing.
Sormeh Nikourazm, Featherstone High’s senior learning mentor, said: “As a school, we take pride in the wellbeing of our students and the community and for this to have been recognised has been rewarding and has highlighted all our staff and their hard work that they put in all year round.”
A report that accompanied its WAS award praised Featherstone High for building trust between pupils and staff and for building students’ ‘self-esteem and resilience’. It said students appreciated the work being done to support their wellbeing and they felt like they could talk to anyone and knew ‘where to go and how to contact staff whenever they feel the need to talk.’
The report also stated: ‘Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is a valued subject as is the reflective time run by form tutors. The school is particularly keen to have the resources in place to proactively support living life in a healthy and positive way. This also serves to support those with depression and anxiety. The SID (Social Inclusion Department) is laid out as an inviting space. Sormeh Nikouram has been a strong advocate of wellbeing and has been determined to positively action support for mental health and wellbeing in conjunction with the SID team at Featherstone High School. This is very much supported and nurtured by the Headteacher, Mr Wadwa, who is very keen to continue this important work.’
Earlier this year, Ealing Council announced its support for ‘mental health first aid’ training for staff in schools in the borough.