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Review of best practice in psychological services in schools launched today

27 September 2017

In a new Review the BPS Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families examines the evidence and discusses practical ways the psychological wellbeing, of staff and pupils, can be addressed in school settings.

A Review on how schools can provide the best psychological support to both pupils and staff is launched today at the annual conference of the BPS Division of Cinical Psychology's Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families (CYPF) in Reading.

What Good Looks Like in Psychological Services for Schools and colleges: Primary prevention early intervention and mental health provision’ reviews the evidence and discusses the practical ways in which psychological wellbeing can be addressed in school settings, as well as the implications for commissioning and delivery of provision. It's free to access and contains various case studies of applied psychologists working with individuals, schools and services. 

Julia Faulconbridge, BPS Division of Clinical Psychology Child Lead and Review author said:

"In a climate of limited resource and rising demand there is clear and growing evidence that embedding psychological services in schools is an effective way of identifying and working with children and young people’s mental health needs. We believe psychologically healthy schools with support for the wellbeing of staff and students should be a priority.

"Schools can provide a setting in which we can work to improve the resilience and psychological wellbeing of children and young people to prevent the development of difficulties as well as intervening early when difficulties arise.”

The Review helps the understanding of:

• How schools can build cultures and develop resources aimed at building resilience, and ameliorate the negative impact of risk factors like poverty or bereavement.

• How the PHSE and wider curricula (together with models and support and appropriate resources) must be developed to tackle within school risk factors such as bullying and other social concerns, academic and sexual pressures.

• The need to train teachers in the delivery of those curricula.

• The importance of early recognition of problems and high quality assessments so that the right help is provided at the right time.

• How rapid access to high quality psychological assessment is essential to quickly identify any risk of harm to the self or others.

• How teachers need to be trained to understand what normal distress looks like and to recognise when more specialist help may be needed.

• How enhanced training for teachers must be followed up in terms of ongoing access to consultation, support and provision from relevant health and social care professionals.

Read more about our Review in an article published in the tes.

CYPF is a Member Network of the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology. It is made up of clinical psychologists who specialise in working with children, young people and their families, although other professions may join as Associate members. Find out more about CYPF.

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