Mental Health in Schools Working Group minutes: February 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 5 February 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) - Chair
  • Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
  • National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
  • Mental Health UK/Support in Mind Scotland
  • Barnardos
  • NHS Health Scotland 
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • See Me
  • Mental Health Directorate, Scottish Government 
  • Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • North Ayrshire Council
  • Mental Health Foundation
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed the group to the meeting and introductions were made.

The Chair remind the group that there was also a correspondence group who have an interest in this work. It was noted that there were no comments from the correspondence group. 

The Chair remind the group that the purpose of the working group was not to duplicate any work around mental health already underway.

Minutes from the last meeting and action points 

All actions from the minutes of the meeting in November were complete. 

No. Action Lead Deadline
1 SG officials to make suggested amendments to the ToR and invite UNISON onto the working group. Updated version will be circulated and added to the SG website.    UNISON now member of working group. updated ToR issued 31 Jan. 
2 SG to send link to CfE narrative to group members.   CfE narrative issued 31 Jan
3 Barnardo’s to share their continuum of support.   Completed.
4 Group members to provide feedback on the mental health resources document by 22 November 2019 if they wish.    No comments rc’d.
5 SG to send calendar invites out to group for a meeting in January.   Completed.

Terms of reference 

A number of amendments were suggested to the Terms of Reference and these were accepted.

A number of comments were made about this work including:

  • funding – SG confirmed that funding for this work was not yet confirmed. However the assumption is that the work of this group is to deliver professional learning for all school staff which will be cost neutral. The WG will consider options on this
  • audit of staff workload – the Chair confirmed that we are responding to a staff need and not intending to add to staff workload. The aim is to provide signposting  to available types of  training  and resources that are available and relevant to age and stage
  • staff will still need time to access / read the training – however, the Chair confirmed this is a training need across all authorities and this is already on everyone/s agenda
  • the Chair commented that LA’s and schools recognise the importance of supporting young people’s mental health and that strengthened support is needed. The group’s role is to make sure that they have good quality resources to refer to
  • consider including case studies of effective practice to show how a school might implement this
  • SG confirmed that this group will feed into the overall work delivering the recommendations of the PSE Review

Pillar one

SG confirmed that a sub group will be convened to take this work forward. SG confirmed the group would develop a list of current training that could help teachers support children and young people around various aspects of mental health. The group will then undertake some analysis against what current training provides and where gaps are. The aim is then to develop a specific training package for all school staff.  The sub group will consider all suitable platforms for delivering the training – online, face to face, webinars. 

Feedback included: 

  • would be useful to frame the training around the SHANNARI principles – as this is something that schools are used to / comfortable with
  • it needs to be a Universal Resource that is available to support primary and secondary school staff
  • important that it provides a clear direction to achieve – knowledge and understanding; addressing stigma and discrimination; skill enhancement 
  • important that the training covers how to frame positive conversations / positive messaging in relation to mental health 
  • the training should also provide practical tools as well as basic knowledge and can inform effective practice within a school
  • important to use Getting it right for every child/SHANARRI


  • SG to set up sub group for Pillar 1

Pillar two

SG presented the draft whole school approach framework to the group. The paper presented initial ideas to include within a whole school approach framework including what a whole school approach is, what a whole school approach can do, the principles of a whole school approach and links to curriculum for excellence.  SG confirmed that a sub group would be established to take forward the actions under Pillar 2. 

Feedback included:

  • need to clarify who the audience of the document will be – local authority/schools/both? 
  • ensure it is a framework that enables LAs/schools to draw on as necessary i.e. to  build on existing effective practice and strengthen 
  • document should refer to the school community, not just CYP
  • keep the document concise – include effective practice and the relationship with curriculum for excellence 
  • important to acknowledge the role of schools, teachers and all school staff in delivering mental health support to young people and the framework’s aim is to enhance existing effective practice and support any gaps in provision
  • utilise existing resources to support evaluation and implementation e.g. HGIOS 4 


  • SG to establish sub group for Pillar 2

Pillar three

SG described the content of the MH resources. The document will be available on the Hub and on the SG website. SG also asked for assistance from group to help promote this resource. SG asked for any organisations to send in any free resources there have to be added to the resource.

Feedback included:

  • union representatives highlighted that they would be content to circulate the resources pack to their members
  • it would be useful to develop lesson plans as part of this pillar – especially if they aligned with the training developed in pillar 1
  • consider adding in a section signposting to resources which do charge, but highlight that they are not endorsed by Education Scotland
  • it would be useful to include key dates within the resources pack e.g. world mental health day


  • members to send in any links to resources that can be added to the resources checklist.
  • Mental Health Foundation to send in glossary on language. 
  • group members to contact SG with their preference for sub groups.


No additional items of any other business were raised. 

The Chair thanked everyone for attending and close the meeting.

March 2020

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