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School Improvement Priorities
WHMAT Emotional Wellbeing School Improvement Model
The School improvement framework draws on the results of a systematic review of best practice and research worldwide that was conducted by Professor Katerine Weare for the Partnership for Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools.
The framework outlines effective approaches that include professional learning and staff development; adopting whole-school thinking; and developing robust policies to underpin a supportive environment. The emphasis is on developing a school and classroom climate which builds a sense of connectedness and purpose so that all children can thrive. It also highlights the need to promote staff wellbeing and particularly to address their stress levels. The findings identify the triggers that can lead to mental health issues such as: lack of trust; communication and relationship breakdowns; and the possible lack of extended family ties.
The framework demonstrates how to engage the whole school community so that pupils feel their voice is heard and parents, carers and families feel they genuinely participate, particularly those of pupils in difficulties who otherwise may feel stigmatized. Taken together, well conducted reviews demonstrate that there is a solid group of approaches, programs and interventions which, when well designed and implemented, show repeated and clear evidence of positive impacts on:
- academic learning, motivation, and sense of commitment and connectedness with learning and with schools.
- staff well-being, reduced stress, sickness and absence, improved teaching ability and performance.
- pupil well-being including happiness, a sense of purpose, connectedness and meaning.
- the development of the social and emotional skills and attitudes that promote learning, success, well-being and mental health, in school and throughout life.
- the prevention and reduction of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.
- improving school behaviour, including reductions in low-level disruption, incidents, fights, bullying, exclusions and absence.
- reductions in risky behaviour – such as impulsiveness, uncontrolled anger, violence, bullying and crime, early sexual experience alcohol and drug
The evidence clearly demonstrates;
- children with greater well-being, lower levels of mental health problems and greater emotional attachment to school achieve higher grade scores, better examination results, better attendance and drop out less often.
- social and emotional skills are a more significant determinant of academic attainment than IQ.
- the strong correlation between the quality of PSHE in a school and the school’s overall effectiveness.
Sitting alongside the School Improvement Framework will be a suite of tools designed to support the effective creation of a combined AIP (Academy Improvement Plan) and SEF . This will include an audit tool based on the framework and a questionnaire for staff to help identify school improvement priorities.
The implementation of the School Development Plan will be assisted through support for a relentless focus on improving teaching and learning, HR , back office, Governance , IT and finance as well as leadership and management.