Last Updated: Friday, October 01, 2021

Support for all

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Who is this for?

All practitioners.

Support for your health and wellbeing

1. Extra support for the education workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Scottish Government has announced new support to be offered to the education workforce. A £1.5 million funding package to help manage additional pressures as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This additional package of support has been developed in partnership through the CERG Workforce Support Workstream. It includes new mental health support for staff from Barnardo’s Scotland and mental health charity Place2Be. Education Scotland and the General Teaching Council for Scotland will also offer new professional learning opportunities for post-probation teachers and develop a new coaching and mentoring offer for teachers who need it most. The funding package also includes the continuation of the Scottish Government’s commitment, in partnership with the Hunter Foundation, to the values-based leadership programmes delivered by social enterprise and charity Columba 1400. Details of, and links to, this package of support are available here: Strengthening support for school staff.

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2. Useful links for looking after your mental health and wellbeing

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3. iheart

iheart offers a Resilience and Wellbeing Educators webinar series for teachers, senior leaders, support staff and early years practitioners. Participants learn to uncover their own innate capacity for wellbeing and resilience in order to manage stress, workload and challenging circumstances within the education profession. For more information contact infoscotland@iheartprinciples.com or visit iheartprinciples.

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4. COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities)

COSLA is working with Trade Unions and Councils to promote and ensure employees have access to appropriate advice and guidance during the COVID-19 response this includes FAQs for managers and employees as well as a wellbeing page on the knowledge hub signposting to the supports available both nationally and locally. For more information contact Simon Cameron (Acting Chief Officer, Employers team) simonc@cosla.gov.uk (0131 474 9261) or visit COSLA.

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Support for the health and wellbeing of learners

1. Links to support the positive mental health and wellbeing of children and young people

A summary of information, resources and organisations have been curated by Education Scotland and are freely available to support primary and secondary school staff to support mental wellbeing.

Nurture and trauma-informed approaches: A summary of supports and resources

Wakelet - Mental health and wellbeing: supports for practitioners, parents, carers and young people

The British Psychological Society has published guidance for a resilience and coping framework for supporting transitions back to school.

Place2Be offers a range of professional learning programmes on mental health in schools – to both school staff and headteachers. This includes Place2Think consultative sessions that provide a reflective space for education professionals supporting positive mental health/resilience/wellbeing in school communities.

During this time of remote working, Place2Be are making their online ‘Introduction to Mental Health’ programme more widely available. The programme is designed as a foundation in mental health awareness and is suitable for participants with a range of prior learning. The 5-week online programme consists of four modules, each of which explores a different area of mental health and wellbeing:

  • Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Nature and Nurture
  • How can I help?
  • Mental Health: everybody’s business

In addition, Place2Be has put together a series of resources focused on community recovery, to help headteachers and school staff start to bring their schools back together following recent challenging times.

For more information about Place2Be please visit the Place2Be website or contact scotland@place2be.org.uk.

**NEW** Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing : A Professional Learning Resource For All School Staff - The resource takes a whole school approach centred around prevention and early intervention to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for everyone in the school community. It aims to provide school staff with knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing in schools and a range of opportunities to learn about experiences and advice from practitioners and young people.

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2. Supporting children and young people with trauma, grief and loss

Professional Learning Activities called 'Supporting children experiencing grief and loss’ & 'Compassionate and Connected Community' have been created and can be accessed via the Professional Learning and Leadership website. This resource provides an introduction to supporting children and young people affected by trauma.
Place2Be has provided a resource helping children to process loss.

NHS Education Scotland has a variety of resources available for working with young people and families at this time.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 Barnardo’s in partnership with Public Health Scotland launched a film – ‘It’s All About Relationships: Embedding relational, trauma sensitive approaches in education settings’. The aim of the film is to make explicit links between trauma-sensitive, relational approaches within Education and children and young people’s mental health.

We also developed this Wakelet which has a range of support materials linked to this subject.

Beacon House supports for staff supporting children and young people affected by trauma.

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3. Support for Children and Young People Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Education Scotland has provided information for educators on domestic abuse which is aimed at all staff in early learning and childcare settings and schools, including senior leadership teams.

A report by the Scottish Government - Coronavirus (COVID-19): domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls - 30/3/20-22/05/20 - provides the qualitative evidence on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on people experiencing domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women/girls (VAWD) during COVID-19 lockdown for the period 30 March 2020 to 22 May 2020.

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4. Mental health and wellbeing: local authority supports

Local authorities across Scotland created bespoke supports for staff, including specific supports from educational psychologists.

Wakelet - Mental health and wellbeing: local authority supports

Further support is available from local authority Educational psychology services across Scotland

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Professional learning and resources and opportunities to support recovery

1. Education Scotland Education Workforce Support

To enhance and complement the work practitioners, schools and local authorities are already undertaking, Education Scotland has identified resources that provide access to a range of support for remote learning that is available from national organisations

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2. Samee (Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators

SAMEE is a nation-wide organisation led by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) education professionals. SAMEE has a presence across West, East and Central Scotland, with heightened visibility in areas with the highest concentration of Scotland’s BME practitioners and learners in nursery, primary and secondary schools. SAMEE education professionals provide support to the BME educators and learners through Continued Professional Learning, workshops, seminars, conferences, one to one consultations and bespoke mentoring activity.

SAMEE’s Leadership and Mentoring Programme

SAMEE's bespoke leadership and mentoring programme for BME education professionals acknowledges, discusses and affirms their lived experiences and the multiple barriers they encounter and also offers: Peer to peer mentoring and career counselling.

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3. NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

NES have evidence based health and wellbeing professional learning packages for school staff. Examples of the training available are: ‘Let’s Introduce Anxiety Management’ (LIAM) and brief Behavioural Activation for low mood and depression. LIAM has been broadly implemented across Scotland and has delivered positive outcomes for children and young people. They also offer a restorative session about staff compassion fatigue / secondary trauma / self-care alongside a session about Risk Management followed up by ‘Linking and Thinking’ sessions which may be particularly helpful at this time.

This training, delivered by NES-funded, local CAMHS team-based psychology staff, aims to equip staff to deliver psychologically informed practices and interventions for children and young people who have elevated levels of distress but who would not meet the criteria for a referral to CAMHS. All the training is followed up with coaching sessions delivered by an expert in the technique / intervention to help with the application of new skills to practice. Consistent with GIRFEC, this helps to ensure that children and young people are offered the right help, from the right people, at the right time.

For more about how to access these training offers please see the NES TIPS-EIC webpage.

In response to the stress of COVID-19, NES Psychology has developed a range of free mental health and wellbeing resources for children, young people and their families as well as the staff who work with them entitled Psychosocial mental health and wellbeing support and Working with young people and families.

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