School to play key role in supporting pupils' mental health across country

Head of SET Beccles School, Heidi Philpott. 

Head of SET Beccles School, Heidi Philpott. - Credit: Seckford Education Trust

A Beccles school is one of only 50 in England to be selected to work in partnership to enhance health and wellbeing of pupils.

SET Beccles School has been chosen as a lead school for health and wellbeing by the Youth Sport Trust in a move which will connect them to a network of schools working towards supporting young people across the country.

In particular, the school, which opened as Beccles Free School in 2012, has been tasked with piloting and developing created approaches to increase the engagement, wellbeing and potential of young boys through PE and sport.

Head of school Heidi Philpott said: "We are immensely proud to be awarded lead school status for Health and Wellbeing.

"SET Beccles prides ourselves on the holistic provision we offer our students.

"We truly believe that this supports greater academic progress and achievements for our students."

Working with the YST charity, SET Beccles will play an active part in developing school provisions aimed at tackling the declining mental health in children and young people; providing targeted support for enhancing wellbeing in boys; reducing inactivity and improving physical, mental and social health; and developing a whole-school health and wellbeing culture through PE and sport.

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Chris Wright, health and wellbeing lead at the Youth Sport Trust, said: "It is well-established that regular physical activity can enhance social, emotional and physical wellbeing which, in turn, can enhance health-related quality of life.

"While it is important that these methods are implemented for all to promote positive wellbeing, such methods should be targeted at those who are at most risk of falling out of the system.

"The power of sport has the potential to develop boys' skills and wellbeing from an early age to prevent such issues leading to a clinical diagnosis of a mental health disorder, exclusion from school or involvement in the criminal justice system."

Danny Burton, lead practitioner for PE at the school, which is one of five schools in the Seckford Education Trust, said: "We have the ambition of providing as many innovative and targeted projects as possible aimed at improving our students' health and wellbeing.

"We are really excited about this new partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and are keen to implement some of the early insight across the rest of the Seckford Education Trust."