Competition for schools supporting pupils’ mental health and emotional wellbeing

  • Top prize of £5,000 and two runner-up prizes of £2,500
  • Nine regional highly-commended awards
  • Esteemed judging panel led by Katherine Weare, Emeritus Professor of Education and Honorary Member, Faculty of Public Health

Today (Friday 22 March) the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Coalition is launching its Resilience and Results Competition, and calling on primary and secondary schools to showcase their best practice approaches to improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of their pupils.

Open to all schools in England, the competition gives schools an exciting chance to win a financial prize, kindly provided by Zurich Community Trust: the winning school will receive £5,000, with two runners-up getting £2,500 to invest in their mental health and emotional wellbeing programmes. There will also be nine ‘Highly-Commended’ awards, one per England region, to be won. By entering the competition schools will also be in with an exciting chance to have their best practice approaches profiled in a digital showcase that the Coalition will share with schools across the country.

Around three children in every class suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder,[1] and the inextricable link between positive mental health and academic attainment is increasingly being recognised. Having published guidance for schools, ‘Resilience and Results: How to improve the emotional and mental wellbeing of children and young people in your school’ (September 2012), the Coalition is now inviting schools to enter its competition and demonstrate how they are making mental health and emotional wellbeing support for their pupils both a reality and a priority.

Mick Atkinson, Chair of Schools and Colleges for the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, said: Children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing directly impacts on their learning in the classroom, their academic attainment, and their overall life chances. Schools can play a hugely important role in providing their pupils with the support they need to flourish, at the time when they need it.

“We are encouraged by the government’s pledge; ‘Better health outcomes for children and young people,’ which commits the Department of Health to doing everything it can to improve the health of children and young people. The Resilience and Results Competition gives schools the opportunity to share how they embed mental health and emotional wellbeing support in their school cultures. Furthermore the examples captured through the competition will become a resource that is made available to schools across England, offering best practice approaches to supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of pupils.”

Simon Marshall, Headteacher at Highfield Community Primary School, said: “It is hugely important that schools take active steps to ensure that their pupils are supported not just academically but also outside of the classroom, to help them to grow up as mentally healthy and emotionally resilient individuals.

“The guidance published for schools by the Coalition is a useful tool that can help schools to provide their pupils with the mental health and emotional wellbeing support that they need. Supporting pupils in this way is key to helping them on their journey to achieving their full potential.”

A panel of esteemed judges, led by Katherine Weare, Emeritus Professor of Education and Honorary Member at the Faculty of Public Health, will select the winning school and runners-up in June, with all winning entries being showcased on the Coalition website.

All schools in England will be sent an entry pack and invited to submit an entry to the Resilience and Results Competition that outlines their approaches to: promoting emotional wellbeing and mental health, tackling behavioural and emotional difficulties, demonstrating pupil and parent involvement, and innovation in the commissioning and delivery of services. Schools will be asked to evidence their successes through a written submission and also supplementary materials where possible including video, photography and staff and student testimonials.

The closing date for all entries to the Resilience and Results Competition is 6 May 2013. Further information about applying can be found at: www.cypmhc.org.uk/schools_competition_2013



[1] Green, H., McGinnity, A., Meltzer, H., et al. (2005). Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain 2004. London: Palgrave.

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