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Title: Building a 'whole-school approach' : how are mainstream secondary schools supporting students' mental health and wellbeing?
Author: Veale, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 1861
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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Schools are considered a key environment to promote children and young people's wellbeing and address mental health difficulties (Patalay et al., 2017). There have been numerous policies and guidance published on how schools can support students' mental health (MH) and wellbeing (WB) through a whole-school approach (Lavis & Robson, 2015; Weare, 2015). Evidence has shown that schools are finding it difficult to cope with the pressures of supporting an increasing number of students requiring mental health support, whilst balancing the 'academic' and 'non-academic' role of education (Weare, 2015). Students' challenging behaviours have been an increasing challenge for schools (Stanforth & Rose, 2018), and with a view to reducing exclusions, a number of schools are developing their own on-site units to support vulnerable students (Department for Education, 2018; Ofsted 2016). The present study aimed to explore how senior leaders in mainstream secondary schools are supporting students' MH and WB through a whole-school approach. Further explorations of schools with on-site units, as part of their specialised level of support, were conducted. This research consisted of two phases using a qualitative methodology. In the first phase, interviews were conducted with senior leaders in six mainstream secondary schools in a local authority in the West Midlands. The second phase consisted of two case studies of specialist on-site units. The data was analysed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The findings demonstrate that senior leaders acknowledged the importance of supporting students' MH and WB and all schools in this research had the majority of factors contributing to a whole-school approach. Yet schools are facing a number of challenges which prevent them being fully implemented. On-site units were perceived as a supportive addition to the schools' approach. They aimed to support students' MH and WB and prevent exclusions. Students gave mixed views about attending the unit but felt they had progressed in their learning and emotional regulation. Students' views, as reinforced by staff, highlighted the importance of relationships across school. Considerations for the role of educational psychologists in supporting the MH and WB of young people are explored.
Supervisor: Norwich, B. ; Tunbridge, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available