Mental Health in Schools Working Group minutes: May 2021

Minutes from the group's meeting on 6 May 2021.

Attendees and apologies

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


  • Public Health Scotland
  • Support in Mind
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Children’s Parliament

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed the meeting and apologies were noted.

Whole school approach framework

An overview of the Whole School Approach Framework (WSA) was provided. Key points included:

  • the WSA provides the context and reasoning behind implementing a whole school approach along with the role of a local authority in supporting a whole school approach

  • it aims to be a practical document that schools can work through against a set of eight principles
  • a flowchart will be included to present the 8 principles visually
  • the WSA will open with a foreword which acknowledges the pressures schools are currently facing and recognises that many schools are already adopting the approach outlined in the document
  • the foreword will be signed by the Chair of the working group, and if content, it is proposed that members’ organisation logos will be included
  • the WSA will be issued to the working group w/c 10 May for comment with an aim to publish on 28 May

Feedback from members on the overview included:

  • WSA will support schools in developing their recovery plans therefore referencing to recovery throughout the WSA is key
  • more needs to be said about other agencies (CAMHS, Educational Psychologists, links to local authorities, school nurses, counsellors etc)
  • highlight support available at all levels. Reinforce third sector support available
  • suggestion of a dedicated in service day on mental health (to consider WSA, Knowledge and
  •  Skills framework, online resource and link with learning and teaching resources/measuring progress in wellbeing)

Update on online learning resource

SG provided an update on the online learning resource, advising that the proofing stage is underway and the resource is on track to be published at the end of May.

Members were thanked for their feedback on the resource. Minor amendments have been made throughout the resource, however, key changes include:

  • the Whole School Approach section was renamed to ‘Applying Prevention Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing’ to avoid confusion with the WSA Framework being developed
  • video included on the front page to help people access the resource
  • checks being undertaken to ensure all materials in the resource are fully accessible, including on mobile phones

SG agreed to send a link to the final resource to the group for early sight before publication. Members are encouraged to share the resource through their channels and networks. It is expected that Minister’s will want to do an announcement around the launch of the resource.

Action 1: SG to circulate link to the online resource once finalised.

SG advised a paper would be provided at the next meeting detailing plans for an evaluation of the resource.

Longer term workplan

Given that the remit of the working group is almost complete, an opportunity was provided to consider the forward work plan of the group.

Current suggestions include mental health support / resources for:

  • children under the age of 10
  • children and young people with additional support needs; and
  • children and young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds

Members agreed that the suggested areas of work are important. Members highlighted the importance of considering research and data to establish priorities to focus on.

SG noted their appreciation for members input over the past year and how valued the group is across the system.

Members agreed that the group should continue as long as there is a clear purpose and that the work is not already being undertaken by other groups.

SG agreed to pull together a list of mental health groups and actions taking place so the group can consider their future remit at the next meeting.

Action 2: SG to pull together a list of mental health groups and actions taking place.


No other business was raised.

The Chair closed the meeting.

Support and Wellbeing Unit

Learning Directorate

May 2021

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