King’s awarded Gold in pioneering mental health award

We are delighted to announce that The King’s School has achieved Gold standard in the School Mental Health Award.

Delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, the award recognises our outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision, and judged the school to be excelling in each of the areas of assessment.

Headmaster George Hartley said: “I am extremely proud that everything we do in school has been recognised by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools; it is testament to our commitment to prioritising mental health and wellbing for pupils and staff.” 

Deputy Head Pastoral, Claire Sumner, leads on pupil wellbeing in the Senior School and was responsible for entering the school for the award.  

She said: “Over the last few years, we have introduced a number of initiatives that, when woven together, support the wellbeing of every pupil from the youngest infants to Sixth Form students. 

“One of the aims of our wellbeing programme is to arm pupils with practical skills that most of them don’t know they need yet. They learn to prioritise their wellbeing, we help them build resilience, and we work with them to find coping strategies that work for them.  

“This means that when pupils face one of life’s challenges in the future, they will be well equipped to get through it.” 

Examples of the initiatives and activities that impressed the Carnegie Centre include: the appointment of Nurse Jess, our on-site Wellbeing Nurse to work alongside the School Nurse, pastoral leads and School Counsellor; the training we give to Junior School and Sixth Form pupils to act as Mental Fitness Ambassadors; the use of My Happy Mind for younger pupils; and the introduction of the online Wellbeing Hub by teentips for use by Senior School staff, pupils and parents.  

The school was also judged to be excelling in the area of staff support, gaining praise for its staff wellbeing initiatives which include an employee assistance programme and access to sports facilities. 

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise, Minds Ahead. 

Rachel C. Boyle, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “The achievement of the Mental Health award is a demonstration of the school’s significant commitment to improving children’s and staff’s mental health and wellbeing.

“It is also a commitment to developing practices in school that seek to improve awareness and expertise in creating safe and secure learning environments in which all children can truly fulfil their potential. This award is one that all staff can be truly proud of.” 

Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults. 

“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about The King’s School and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.” 

Pictured here are Deputy Head Pastoral, Claire Sumner, Wellbeing Nurse Jess Bridgwater, and two of our Sixth Form Mental Fitness Ambassadors, Samya Saha and Erin Edwards.