Pupil wellbeing is a top priority for Suffolk as children head back to school

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Education and health colleagues have come together to support education settings and promote wellbeing amongst pupils as thousands of children return to school.

Colleagues from Suffolk County Council, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, local Clinical Commissioning Groups and other health and education services have been working together to deliver a ‘community response’ to support children, young people, their families, and education settings. Ongoing work will include the delivery of training and support that is part of the government initiative ‘Wellbeing for Education Return’. This seeks to support schools and colleges to promote children and young people’s wellbeing, resilience, and recovery in response to Covid-19. The initiative will run over the next year as the Covid-19 pandemic continues and more is learnt about the impact on children and young people, and education.

SCC Psychology and Therapeutic Services are continuing to engage with educational settings as they return, this will allow educational and child psychologists to look at school systems and understand where support may be needed to help build wellbeing and resilience within school communities. This work will help services to plan and deliver support that is effective, and needs led. Psychologists are working to develop further training for schools on bereavement and loss and the warning signs of anxiety, low mood, stress and trauma. There is also a commitment to share resources and good practice examples.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Psychology in Schools Team have also created a range of resources such as training sessions and podcasts. Information packs to support pupils, families and staff have also been created and shared. The resources have been used to support the transition back into the classroom and will be useful to refer to over the next academic year. A series of video training sessions have been created for staff, covering subjects such as teacher and student wellbeing, supporting vulnerable students and building resilience. Other resources, such as presentations teachers can watch and share are also available to download from Suffolk County Council’s Suffolk Learning website and NSFT’s YouTube channel.

Councillor Mary Evans Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills said:

“We are committed to working with schools over the next year as we learn more about the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown. Each and every child will have had a different experience and response to the months spent out of school. It essential that our support for pupils wellbeing is well-coordinated and draws on the wealth of local resources and experienced staff in education and health.”

For more information and resources about the return to school parents and carers can visit suffolk.gov.uk/backtoschool