National Educational Leaders in Mental Health Gloucestershire January 2022

A version of the Advanced Mental Health Lead training especially for Heads and senior leaders in education

Leading to a Level 4 Certificate in Mental Health Aware Leadership (Educational Leader) in addition to accreditation as a National Educational Leader in Mental Health.

Venue: Day 1 – DOWTY Sports & Social Ltd , Down Hatherley Lane, Down Hatherley Staverton, Gloucester GL2 9QH (Free Parking onsite)

Venue: Day 2 – DOWTY Sports & Social Ltd , Down Hatherley Lane, Down Hatherley Staverton, Gloucester GL2 9QH (Free Parking onsite)

Venue: Day 3 – The Pavilion, Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6PN (Free Parking onsite)

Times: 9.00am to 4.30pm

Dates: 25th Jan 2022, 17th May and 30th June

DfE Course title: Advanced Designated Mental Health Lead

DfE Course Code: SMHL008

Course preparation
All course materials are delivered digitally. This means you will need to bring a device or download the materials before coming on the course.
Before the course you are required to complete a personal skills audit and also a setting audit. These are both available online through If a colleague is also completing a course with us, then complete the setting audit in tandem.

Course Instructors

Mair Hewitt-Stubbs Mair Hewitt-Stubbs Trainer

I work full time as an Educational Psychologist (EP) for Gloucestershire County Council. My role involves supporting children and young people (CYP) aged 0-25 and therefore I have a developed a good understanding of the needs of a range of settings, including early years, primary, secondary and college. I make a point of learning about the contexts I am working in (e.g. surrounding area, number of children with free school meals etc.) as I believe this to be important when considering how best to support both staff and pupils. In a previous role, I worked as an Emotional Wellbeing Practitioner in a further education college for disabled YP, which has also provided me with further specialist knowledge and experience in this area. My work as an Educational Psychologist varies from individual casework, multi-agency work and staff support to whole class and school intervention. I regularly work with senior leadership teams to consider their approach to supporting children and young people’s mental health, evaluate how inclusive their policies and practise are and facilitate development and implementation of actions plans which have led to systemic change. For example, I recently carried out a PATH with a group of secondary school staff (including the Inclusion Manager and SENDCo) as part of introduction of a new nurture provision. I found this to be an effective organisational planning tool to motivate, inspire and move a group of professionals towards achievement of their shared goal. In another group of schools, I have promoted the importance of play and enlisted the support of a local organisation (Play Gloucestershire) to help me in providing training to staff around developing children’s social and emotional skills through play activities. My doctoral research explored how EPs can support the psychological wellbeing of disabled YP during the challenging ‘emerging adulthood’ years and promoted the application of an ecological systems model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) to ensuring their transition plans are meaningful and fit for purpose. My findings were the catalyst for systemic change within this setting which was an exciting and interesting process for me to be a part of. I am also involved in service-wide projects aimed at improving the mental health support in Gloucestershire schools following the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Wellbeing in Education Return (WER)and delivering of bespoke training around understanding trauma, attachment and resilience. I provide regular supervision for a group of twelve Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs). Within these sessions, we dedicate time to thinking about how to overcome and address organisational issues and how to create and embed change. Linked to this I have also worked with school leaders, of some of the ELSA’s, to help them to embed and utilise their ELSA’s skills effectively by supporting and challenging the school leaders as to how their ELSA’s are being used.

Valerie Valerie Trainer

A qualified teacher with many years’ experience, I began my career in an inner-city primary school with a high level of SEN pupils and social deprivation as well as a significant number of Traveller children. I moved to an outstanding 2 – 16 Special school in Gloucestershire where I taught for fifteen years, working with pupils with a variety of needs – SEMH, SLD, ASD, PMLD. I developed a deep understanding of the importance of recognising the impact of social and mental health issues on learning and, as a result, I was seconded as Deputy Head of an SEMH school in Special Measures where I worked with the Head and rapid action team to highlight the mental health issues and put in place plans for significant cultural change. I have worked as a PSHE subject lead for many years, as well as holding the position of SENCo and Mental Health Lead. I was school lead for the Timpson Project, working closely with Virtual School staff and Educational Psychologists to challenge current practice and bring about change across the school. This enabled me to influence views in respect of nurture provision and assessment of pupil mental health and to develop and embed a dynamic and successful emotional wellbeing intervention programme. I was also able to raise awareness of the importance of staff mental health and gain SLT agreement to setting up a team of Mental Health Champions to provide day to day support. I developed and delivered training on a variety of topics, including Trauma Informed practice, emotion coaching, and resilience and well-being for staff. In addition to my school roles, I have been a Lead Teacher for the Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning team for 10 years and have responsibility for all Special Schools in the County. This involves working with schools to review their PSHE and Mental Health provision and to achieve the Healthy Schools and Mental Health Champions Awards. This can include challenging leaders’ perceptions and suggesting alternative ways forward. I have developed safe and open working relationships with Heads in my schools and believe this is a vital factor in the process. This is equally important in my work as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) where I have applied my SEN experience to influence change in mainstream settings. This has been achieved through reviewing current SEN provision and putting forward ideas for change. I have experienced differing views of what constitutes ‘inclusion’ or a positive experience for pupils with SEN and the challenge has been showing respect for the current ethos/practice whilst empowering leaders to make change. Working as a trainer for the SDSA Leading a Mentally Healthy School course provided a valuable opportunity to work with senior leaders from outside the County and gain a greater insight into school mental health models offered and their impact on school communities. Through delivery of the course, I was able to interact with leaders with a range of different experiences and views and foster an open debate about mental health in education, the outcomes of which were then translated into action plans for the participant schools.

Belinda Belinda Trainer

I have many years’ experience in schools nationally and have gained a specialist practitioner degree in health and wellbeing of school aged children. Subsequently I passed the Practice Educator Award with Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education before taking the position of lead consultant for emotional and mental wellbeing as part of the Healthy Schools Partnership in Gloucestershire. I wrote the universal strand of the county wellbeing strategy and have published two books on mental health. My GHLL role involves responding to identified need, for example supporting schools following bereavement including suicide of students. I am currently advising a senior leadership team in a college where we are piloting supervision and establishing guidance on limits and boundaries for support. Many of our meetings focused upon managing expectations, views vary considerably. A particular tool utilised is the frame of reference, (Jacqui & Aaron Schiff). This helps to highlight the attitudinal impact for staff when supporting pupils with poor mental health. My role also involves supporting senior leadership teams from all educational settings in their development of promoting positive attitudes toward mental health/illness. I created and developed a two-day conference for international schools, I am currently producing a line managers guide with focus upon inclusivity. I have delivered many keynote workshops for head teachers and senior leadership teams on mental health awareness and staff wellbeing. My initial involvement regarding this support started as a school nurse. I conducted school reviews with head teachers. Our discussions identified staff training requirements, policies, and programmes for PSHE, also I facilitated audits to establish what support was required for pupils and their families. In 2010 I was appointed a youth programme national trainer for MHFA England. This was the inception of the programme and numerous challenges were faced, not least that of addressing the inclusion of mental health into the mainstream culture of educationalists. Challenging and changing the culture from “don’t open that can of worms, it’s not our business” to having a real appreciation of the impact of poor mental health on education and attainment requires many approaches. One such approach was an inset day I facilitated with the whole school staff. It was essential to establish a safe working environment so that the teachers and support staff could participate in the decision-making process, have a shared sense of purpose, and engage collaboratively. Given the importance of culture, its connection to teacher identity and the core values and beliefs of the profession, cultural change in schools is most likely to be accepted when handled in a participatory manner which aligns with the school’s vision and values. ‘The most critical function of corporate culture is to generate commitment and enthusiasm among followers by making them feel they are part of a ‘family’ and participants in a worthwhile venture’ We adopted the SEAL values and considered what an emotionally healthy school looks like based on “The School I’d like”, Children and young people’s reflections on Education for the 21st Century.

Course Registration


You will be invoiced £800 plus VAT only if we have confirmation of DfE funding (we have applied for this course fee to be paid for by the DfE Mental Health Lead Training Grant).