Parkside School

Mental Health Award

Mental Health Award

Parkside school scoops pioneering mental health award


Parkside School have achieved the School Mental Health Award which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Parkside School were awarded a Bronze standard for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

Parkside School are committed to working towards the Silver award, which would see them deliver their strategy at local and national level.  As a result of the fantastic work delivered by the school, they have been asked to present at Leeds Carnegie conference in July.

Parkside School provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, engaging with external agencies offering mental health support.  These include the NHS Mental Health Support Team, Project 6 Counselling Service, Youth in Mind project, James project and Barnardos.

The school has also developed an approach called the “Parkside Pathway” which offers interventions tailored to the needs of the student.  The goal was to create an internal hub to support students with emerging emotional and social mental health needs.  Early intervention means students needs are met without causing further distress.

Parkside School’s Headteacher Katharine Needham said: “I am delighted that the hard work of the wellbeing and welfare team has been recognised in this award. It demonstrates our commitment to our values.  Firstly wellbeing, but also developing courage and resilience to deal with the things that life throws at us”.

A focal point of the school’s mental health and wellbeing provision is “the bungalow”.  This is separate to the main school building and has a newly developed therapeutic garden which was designed by the students. It has several breakout rooms where interventions are delivered in a calm, quiet and safe space.

The DfE aim to have a Senior Mental Health Lead in all schools by 2025.  Shaun Walker has achieved this accreditation and will continue to develop a range of mental health strategies at Parkside School.

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.

Rachel C. Boyle, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “The achievement of the Mental Health award is a demonstration of the school's significant commitment to improving children's and staff’s mental health and wellbeing. It is also a commitment to developing practices in school that seek to improve awareness and expertise in creating safe and secure learning environments in which all children can truly fulfil their potential. This award is one that all staff can be truly proud of”.

Nationally, more than 1000 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award.

Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.

“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Parkside School and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”