Praise for wellbeing support in Wales

Written by: Greg Lewis | Published:

One in three secondary schools in Wales are “good” at supporting pupils to be happy, healthy and safe, a report has concluded.

Welsh education inspectorate Estyn has found that two-thirds of primary schools and one-third of secondary schools are helping to keep their pupils healthy and to grow in confidence.

Most other schools strongly support pupils in several aspects but the work is not consistent enough across the whole school.

In the best schools, messages about health and wellbeing in lessons, assemblies and policies are consistent with pupils’ everyday experience. Space to socialise, a nurturing culture, enjoyable opportunities to be physically active, timely pastoral care, and positive work with parents are some of the approaches that collectively ensure pupils become healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives.

Claire Morgan, strategic director at Estyn, said: “It is vital that schools take a joined-up approach to supporting health and wellbeing across all aspects of school life. Schools should also prioritise strengthening relationships between teachers and pupils and pupils’ peer relationships as these are critical to mental health and emotional wellbeing.”

The report highlights many good practice case studies. The evidence shows, for example, that a teacher’s expertise lies in their understanding of how young people learn – rather than simply their subject knowledge – and a nurturing culture, where positive relationships enable pupils to thrive is important to strengthen young people’s health and wellbeing.

The report recommends that new teachers are trained to understand child and adolescent development and to support pupils’ health and wellbeing.


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