Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Importance of Pupil Emotional Health and Wellbeing

The Emotional Health and Wellbeing of pupils has been identified as a priority for action at Ministerial level.

Emotional wellbeing is critical in developing a healthy successful school community including developing a pupil's social, emotional and behavioural skills In September 2007, the Department began work in partnership with all key statutory and voluntary and community sector stakeholders and interested parties to develop a 'Pupils Emotional Health and Wellbeing (PEHAW) Programme'. The programme focuses on positive prevention by building coping skills in children and young people and complements the personal development strand of the curriculum.

With additional funding of £2.5million made available over 2008/09 to 2010/2011, the learning and outcomes from the post primary programme will be built upon. The emphasis in the first year will be to engage with professionals to identify appropriate options for primary and special schools; engaging with CCEA on how to support the Personal Development strand of the revised curriculum, developing standards and commissioning training materials. The upskilling of teachers will follow.

The Programme will contribute to the building of resilient emotional health and well being of pupils. It is intended to be a vehicle for providing the "glue" to integrate individual policies/services such as all non-academic and curriculum activities affecting pupils such as counselling, pastoral care systems, suicide prevention, anti-bullying, discipline process and the healthy schools initiative in a consistent and coherent way.

Designed as part of the Department’s Pupils’ Emotional Health and Wellbeing Programme, a series of materials on 10 topics of concern to young people and sources of support has issued to post-primary schools, libraries, youth clubs and parent groups. The materials are revised annually and are produced in a range of formats - diary insert, poster and leaflet.

It is hoped that schools will continue to use the topics within homework diaries for the 2012/13 academic year and the other materials will provide teachers with scope to use them in the classroom to link to topics with non academic/curriculum matters affecting pupils. A useful teachers' resource complements the other materials.

**Above is the article from http://www.deni.gov.uk based on a new report, prepared for the Department of Education in Northern Ireland. Prepared by an inter-disciplinary research team, led by Professor Paul Connolly and involving colleagues from education and social work, the report presents the findings of an independent review of current practice in relation to promoting pupils’ emotional health and well being in post-primary schools in Northern Ireland and a review of existing audit tools that schools can use to self-evaluate their whole-school practice in relation to this area. Based upon these findings, the report makes a series of recommendations in relation to future policy and practice regarding the promotion of pupils’ emotional health and well being across the post-primary school sector in Northern Ireland.

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