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Reach features in report on supporting young people’s mental health

A report published this morning setting out the current crisis in young people’s mental health has identified Reach as a model for best practice in supporting its pupils.

RAF in reportThe report, published by Minds Ahead and LKMco, sets out how children in desperate need are being denied help. It argues that schools cannot, and should not avoid their role in tackling the crisis and recognises the work being done at Reach.

The report describes our approach as follows:

The school has put pupil well-being and mental health at the heart of its work. Underlying the school’s approach is a belief in relationships’ power to repair and support, and a belief that addressing barriers to learning outside the classroom ensures all pupils can flourish academically. Last year the school achieved the country’s 15th best Progress 8 score.

Reach has invested in specialist pupil and family support workers and at any time 32 pupils receive one-to-one counselling from Place2Be. Jon Brunskill, a year four teacher at Reach, believes Place2Be’s work and ongoing training in mental health awareness is critical to pupils’ success:

“All teachers have extremely high expectations of the pupils that we teach. But we are encouraged to consider every aspect of their lives to help remove barrier and ensure that they leave school with everything that they need to lead happy lives.”

The school has built a culture focused on the concept of ‘warm-strict’. This involves high expectations and rigour combined with care and love. This is fostered through strong routines, clear rewards and sanctions, and a growing understanding of attachment and trauma’s impact on young people.

You can read the full report here. As a school we intend to continue to develop our support in this area so that all of our pupils are able to flourish and excel.

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