Senior mental health lead training guidance

From Senior mental health lead training – GOV.UK (

Published 2nd June 2021

This training is not compulsory. Having a senior mental health lead who can attend this training is encouraged to help you develop your setting’s holistic approach to promoting and supporting the mental wellbeing of pupils, students and staff, and make best use of existing resources.


The Department for Education (DfE) is offering a senior member of staff in every school or college the opportunity to get a grant for training to help the lead develop or introduce a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing in their setting.

Taking a coordinated and evidence-informed approach to mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges leads to improved pupil and student emotional health and wellbeing which can help readiness to learn.

The grant is a contribution to the cost of training and the hiring of supply staff whilst leads are engaged in learning.


The training is targeted towards giving your lead the knowledge and skills to develop a whole school or college approach to mental wellbeing in your setting and is closely aligned with Public Health England’s (PHE) promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing.


Between September 2021 and March 2022, about a third of all state schools and colleges will be able to apply and access the grant. The government has committed to offer senior lead training to all state schools and colleges by 2025.

This webpage will be updated with more information on how you can sign up soon.

Which staff can get the training

Your school or college can decide who gets the training as every setting’s circumstances are different. Training could be for your:

  • headteacher
  • deputy headteacher
  • member of the senior leadership team (SLT)
  • if not a senior leader, an appropriate member of staff empowered to develop and oversee your setting’s whole school or college approach, with the full support of the SLT

Existing mental health leads

Existing mental health leads, or someone who has previously had mental health and wellbeing training, can still be nominated for this training.

The grant must be used on training to help develop or introduce your whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing, and existing senior leads might wish to:

  • develop or refresh their knowledge and skills in specific priority areas
  • get more advanced training
  • get a relevant qualification

Existing mental health leads who are not part of SLT

While you can still nominate your existing mental health lead if they are not a member of the SLT, you will need to consider whether the individual has the authority, capacity and support to influence and lead strategic change within the setting.

Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs)

You can continue to work with MHSTs if this is already in place. Your nominated senior lead can also be your MHST coordinator, responsible for liaising with the team.

Grant amount

You should get up to about £1,200. The precise amount will be confirmed in the autumn term 2021. Sufficient funding is available to offer a grant to around a third of all schools and colleges in England.

Grant funding can only be confirmed initially for the current financial year. A waitlist will be created and DfE will confirm future grant funding in the spring of 2022.

How the training will be delivered

When you apply for a grant, DfE will ask you about your training needs and learning preferences to help you identify the quality-assured course that most closely meets your needs.

The training you choose can be integrated with other training and resources you are already using and contribute towards your continuous professional development.

You can use this list of resources to promote mental health and wellbeing.

Providers of training

Training providers will be invited to submit their senior lead training offer for quality assurance. Applications will be assessed against quality criteria that the DfE will publish in the summer. Courses that are successful in this process will be included in a list that will be published in September 2021.

Training providers interested in providing senior mental health lead training can find out more using our contracts finder.

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