Three hundred schools across the North East will work alongside Leeds Beckett University to strengthen the mental health of the next generation through a new partnership between the university and the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA).

The partnership will see schools working towards the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools’ School Mental Health Award, a professional development framework which supports the auditing of a whole school approach to mental health.

The award is designed to improve self-confidence, resilience and emotional intelligence for pupils and staff in schools at all levels of the UK’s education system.

To meet the requirements of the award, schools will need to commit to making mental health a strategic priority and developing a positive culture that promotes mental wellbeing for everyone Schools will be able to use a range of masterclasses that have been made available to support their commitment towards a whole school approach to mental health.

As part of the scheme, Professor Anthony Maher from the Carnegie School of Education will complete a research project investigating the impact of the training programme.

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools is based within the Carnegie School of Education and works to support school and college leadership at all levels of the UK’s education system to improve outcomes and life chances.

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 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.”

Elected Metro Mayor for the North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll, said: “We’ve come straight out of an extraordinary pandemic into a cost of living crisis.

“The climate emergency is in effect. There’s war in Europe. These are worrying times for all of us – but especially for children and young people. Their self-confidence. Their resilience. Emotional intelligence.

“These attributes are just as – if not more – important than any grade or test score.

“That’s why it’s great news that hundreds of schools across the North East will be working to better support their children’s, and their staff’s, mental health. I hope many more will follow their lead!”

Three men and one woman walking along a path. There is a building to the left with a lawn that is fenced and a brick walled building to the right

Mayor Jamie Driscoll visited Astley Community High School

Find out more about the Carnegie School of Education.

  • Leeds Beckett University is a modern, professional-based university with a dedicated and diverse community. We work closely with employers and partners to help our graduates become ready for work, for life and to seize all the opportunities that lie ahead.
  • The Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools brings together research and practice to make a tangible difference for generations of children. The Centre achieves this through the provision of research-informed learning opportunities for education professionals, offering courses at postgraduate level and for continuous professional development. The Centre also provides accreditation and guidance through its flagship School Mental Health Award.
  • Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools is a partnership between Carnegie School of Education and community interest company Minds Ahead, and is part of Leeds Beckett University.