Mental Health in Schools Working Group minutes: June 2021

Minutes from the group's meeting on 14 June 2021.

Attendees and apologies

  • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) (Chair)
  • Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP)
  • Barnardo’s
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Children’s Parliament
  • Convention Of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • North Ayrshire Council
  • School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
  • See Me
  • Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government
  • Support in Mind


  • Edinburgh Council
  • Education Scotland
  • Mental Health Foundation
  • Public Health Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed attendees, in particular the new representative for Support in Mind.

Apologies were noted.

Minutes from previous meeting and action points

The minutes from the previous meeting were issued for comment in May. The suggested changes have been made to the minutes. Members were content with the updated minutes.

The Chair provided an update on the actions from the previous meeting:

Action: SG to pull together a list of mental health groups and actions taking place.

Status: complete – covered under agenda item 3

Action: SG to circulate link to the online resource once finalised.

Status: resource currently being finalised – creation of pdf’s for each section. A link will be circulated when available.
SG advised the online resource is being finalised by the project team and would be published week commencing 21 June. 

Forward work plan

As the remit of the group is now largely complete, members were invited to share their views on the future remit of the group.

A paper was provided outlining the purpose to seek members views on:

  • whether the group should continue in its current form;
  • whether membership should be reviewed and should young people be invited to join the group; and
  • future areas of work that the group should focus on

Members provided the following comments under each ask:

Whether the group should continue in its current form

  • members agreed the group should continue

  • need to be clear on the purpose of the group

Whether membership should be reviewed and should young people be invited to join the group

  • agreement that representation of children and young people’s (CYP) views is very important

  • concerns highlighted around confidentiality and young person (YP) joining group

  • how we engage and brief YP would be key
  • consider whether this is the best use of YP time and what will they would get out of it
  • suggest representative from Intercultural Youth Scotland is invited to join group
  • include and involve third sector more widely
  • perhaps a more local champion type approach with young people would work better

Future areas of work that the group should focus on

  • suggest the work the group has already completed (online resource, Whole School Approach Framework and resources on the Hub) require a bit more publicity and support in implementing fully

  • explore interesting examples of how schools are using the online resource / WSA

  • consideration to other possible forward focus areas will be given at a future meeting

Action 1: SG to draft a plan on implementation of first year outputs, including how to represent young people’s views on the group.

Online resource evaluation

One of the main pillars of activity of the group was the development of the online professional learning resource for all school staff to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

SG noted their thanks to Mental Health Foundation, Children’s Health Scotland and Digital Bricks for developing the online resource.

A paper was provided, outlining a proposal for evaluation including the aim, as well as a suggested method:

Aim of evaluation:

  • to ensure that it is providing the necessary knowledge and information that users of the resource are looking for
  • to understand if there are any barriers to engaging with the resource; and
  • if there are improvements that can be made to improve the users experience of the online resource

The outcome of the evaluation will inform future updates of resource and will therefore seek to understand the following:

  • how useful is the resource for school staff in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing?
  • do the topics addressed meet current needs and are there any topics missing?
  • what has the impact of the online resource been on users skills and confidence in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing?

Suggested method:

  • initial period of quarterly monitoring – i.e contractors providing a report on number of users and type of registrations which will inform a headline report of service use
  • we will then contact users who opted in to provide feedback with a set of questions to gather information on their existing knowledge, skills and confidence in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

Members were content with the suggested evaluation proposal.

Members noted the importance of promoting the resource and suggested an in service day dedicated to this work would be beneficial.

SLS suggested using the GTCS quarterly magazine to raise awareness of the resource and WSA.

Update on whole school approach framework

Members were thanked for the feedback they provided on the WSA. It was noted that most of the changes were made where possible.

The updated document is currently with publishers and the final document will be circulated with you once available. Members will be asked to confirm via email that they are content for the framework to be published. Members who wish to do so can then send their logo in to be added to the document.

Given schools are due to finish up for the summer soon, it is proposed that the framework is formally published in August, however members of the group will be invited to circulate it through their existing networks.


EIS highlighted concerns raised at the EIS AGM on staff and pupil wellbeing.

MH in Schools Working Group Secretariat

Scottish Government

June 2021

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