School leaders offered free counselling and wellbeing support

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

A new support scheme for school leaders has been launched is to provide one-to-one counselling and peer group support.

It is being hosted by charity Education Support and has been set-up with £760,000 in Department for Education (DfE) funding.

The scheme is aiming to offer the counselling and peer group support to around 2,000 school leaders, helping those at deputy head level and above with their mental wellbeing. The service will run until March 2023.

The scheme builds on a pilot involving more than 350 school leaders which was launched in response to the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

The service will offer eligible school leaders facilitated online peer support where participants “can safely reflect with other school leaders”. There will also be individual telephone support.

Headteachers who took part in the pilot project said it really helped them at a time of heightened pressure during the pandemic. One said: “It helped me to see my way out of my current difficulties. I feel that even if the pressure of being a head is so great I am struggling, that I do not necessarily have to leave headship.”

Another added: “As soon as I signed up I felt better, I’d taken a proactive step and acknowledged to myself I was finding it hard.”

Sinéad Mc Brearty, CEO of Education Support, said: “School leaders keep children learning, while rarely pausing to check in on themselves. They prioritise everyone else first, which is why we’re so pleased to provide them with professional support, and a space to care for themselves.

“This announcement is a welcome acknowledgement that educator mental health is a vital part of our education system. We’re delighted to be providing these services with the support of DfE, and look forward to working together to support the mental health and wellbeing of everyone working in education.”


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