We are delighted to become the first school in the Channel Islands to be awarded the ‘Wellbeing Award for Schools’, in recognition of its commitment to students’ and staff mental health and well-being. The Senior School recognition follows the success of the Junior School, Melrose, which was the first primary school in Guernsey to achieve this award in 2019.
The Wellbeing Award for Schools is a formal accreditation which celebrates schools that have met the very highest standards of provision for emotional well-being and mental health, both in the UK and internationally. There are over 1000 schools working towards this award, with 416 already having achieved it in the last four years since it was started. Only 19% of this number are secondary schools, with only 9% being independent.
The award process, which took 15 months was led by Dr Vanessa Mitchell, Deputy Principal (Pastoral). Following detailed feedback from all stakeholders about the provision for well-being for both students and staff, Dr Mitchell and her team of parents, students and staff analysed the results and looked for areas of development. Using a whole College approach, all stakeholders were involved in the ‘journey’. Staff, student, and parent well-being teams were established to feedback on the provision and discuss developments. Some of the key areas highlighted by the inspector were the College's recent introduction of student well-being champions, links with parents and proactive interventions to remove stigma surrounding mental health. For example, staff, parent and student training/workshops on self-esteem, managing stress and spotting signs of distress in adolescents are part of the programme here.
Dr Mitchell said: "Well-being has been at the core of our work here for some time and this was an opportunity for us to gain objective, external scrutiny of our well–being provision. Well-being has always been at the core of what we do in College, but this was the opportunity to look to enhance and develop what we were already doing."
Part of the qualifying period took place through the first lockdown time in 2020 of March to May, during which time the College continued to support students with their well-being during with online teaching, continual contact with their tutors plus engaging through positive social media and celebrating the community achievements. This accolade will underpin The Ladies’ College’s well-being strategy and provide a recognised framework for further opportunities to support students, parents, and teachers.
Ashley Clancy, Principal, said: “At The Ladies’ College, we care as much about a student’s well-being and happiness as we do about their academic progress. A young person will achieve their best if they are happy, healthy, and inspired to do well by teachers and peers who care about them as individuals.
The Wellbeing Award for Schools inspector stated that: “The well-being of the staff, students and parents was a key priority even before the school embarked upon the award. A culture of mutual respect has resulted in a team whose morale is high and a staff who are proud of their school.”
Further information about WAS
The award was developed by Optimus Education, in partnership with an educational psychologist and the National Children’s Bureau and is now in its fourth year. It provides schools with a rigorous framework to support the implementation of a range of strategies to bring positive change for the well-being and mental health of the whole school.
You can download the full impact report here: https://www.awardplace.co.uk/case-study/was-impact-best-practice-what-works