Education provides more support for wellbeing during pandemic

Schools and education settings across Scotland are increasingly focused on health and wellbeing, according to a new report published by Education Scotland.

The findings are part of a new national thematic review on health and wellbeing published by Scotland’s HM Inspectors of Education. The review examines a range of approaches taken to support health and wellbeing in education establishments and settings across Scotland.

HM Inspectors visited schools and other education settings between November and December 2021 to explore how health and wellbeing is affected by the pandemic.

Gayle Gorman, Chief Inspector of Education said: "Across Scotland, staff are working with creativity, resilience and innovation to prioritise the health and wellbeing of children and young people and families. They are adapting admirably in an intensely challenging environment to support their learners. Since March 2020, staff have had to adjust frequently to new guidance and safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During our visits to education settings, we found the caring and compassionate approach of staff, and of children and young people, is supporting wellbeing. In the face of the pandemic, most staff have a heightened awareness of the wellbeing needs of learners and families. They have adapted their curriculum with an increased focus on emotional wellbeing and resilience. Supporting mental wellbeing has been a key feature of recovery for schools and settings.

"A central feature of the last two years is that COVID-19 has disrupted the predictability and routines of schools and settings and continues to create day-to-day pressures. Despite this, staff across schools and settings are playing a key role in supporting children, young people and their families."

The report outlines the evidence HM Inspectors gathered on children and young people’s health and wellbeing. It also makes reference to the wellbeing of education staff across Scotland.

Janie McManus, Strategic Director for Scrutiny at Education Scotland, continued: "We have found that circumstances arising from this pandemic have affected the wellbeing of children, young people and families across Scotland in a variety of ways. This report outlines the range of approaches adopted in schools and settings to help address the health and wellbeing challenges faced by children and young people. There are clearly a number of ongoing challenges that required a continued focus and we want to recognise the determination of staff to address the challenges."

Read the full report.