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Local primary schools praised for supporting mental health

East Morton CE Primary School pupils Arya and Alspeth joined headteacher Anne Proctor to collect a gold award at the Healthy Minds Charter Mark awards ceremony.

Four local schools have been awarded the Healthy Minds Charter Mark in recognition of their commitment to support the emotional health and wellbeing of their pupils and staff. 

Set up two years ago, the Bradford Healthy Minds Charter Mark scheme is a collaboration between Bradford Council and the Bradford District Health and Care Partnership. Schools can earn a silver, gold and then platinum award depending on how well they support children, young people, parents and staff; a ‘Beacon School’ status award is also being considered for the future.

Three local schools in our area that last year collected silver awards have now reached the gold standard. They are East Morton C of E primary school, Riddlesden St Mary's primary school and Burley and Woodhead C of E primary school.

Burley Oaks Primary also earned the silver award this year.

The awards were handed out by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Gerry Barker, at the second annual awards ceremony, which took place at the Midland Hotel.

Cllr Imran Khan, Bradford Council's executive member for education, employment and skills, said: “Schools play a crucial role in supporting children’s mental health and it is great that the charter mark shines a light on the important work our schools do.

“We all want children to do their best at school and reach their potential. Good mental health and emotional wellbeing is essential to that. 

“There are some great examples of how our schools are teaching children the skills they need to understand and deal with their emotions, and helping those who are struggling get the support they need. 

“I say a big thank you and well done to all the schools who have achieved the charter mark and look forward to seeing more joining the scheme and gaining recognition next year.”

Dr Ruth Dennis, Principal Educational Psychologist at Bradford Council, said, “The Healthy Minds Charter Mark is an opportunity for schools to develop their support around wellbeing and mental health needs, and to demonstrate their outstanding practice. We are very proud of the schools who have achieved the awards, which recognises their commitment to meeting the needs of their communities. The schools have all taken different paths, drawing on resources from within their own communities and working closely with colleagues in the Educational Psychology Team and council and NHS services. All the schools have worked hard to improve what they do and have shown excellence in delivering wellbeing and mental health support, which has been demonstrated through moderation and with clear evidence at every stage. We are delighted that all have achieved the Healthy Minds Charter Mark award.

“The Healthy Minds Charter Mark is supported by a rigorous evidence base which gives schools knowledge and skills that have been proven to improve wellbeing and support positive mental health. The Educational Psychology team and our partners across organisations will continue to support schools to develop their practise and improve the wellbeing of children all across Bradford district.”

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