Senior mental health lead: Funding extended

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

A further £7m has been made available for the training of senior mental health leads in schools.

The new funding from the Department for Education (DfE) covers the remainder of the 2022/23 financial year.

The training is not compulsory, but it is part of the government’s commitment to offer this funded CPD to all eligible schools and colleges by 2025.

The new role – also known as the designated mental health lead – was first mooted in the 2017 Green Paper, Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision, and in the subsequent consultation response from the Department for Education (DfE) and Department of Health and Social Care (2018).

Two core proposals was: “To incentivise and support all schools and colleges to identify and train a designated senior lead for mental health with a new offer of training to help leads and staff to deliver whole school approaches to promoting better mental health.”

The DfE announced the first tranche of funding (£9.5m) in May 2021 to help train leads in up to 7,800 schools and colleges in England during 2021/22.

Now a further £7m is extending the free training offer until March 31, 2023. The DfE is offering a grant of £1,200 for eligible state-funded schools and colleges in England to train a senior mental health lead “to develop and implement a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing”, according to its updated guidance (DfE, 2022).

Grants will be provided to cover (or contribute to) the cost of attending a quality assured course and may also be used to hire supply staff while leads are engaged in learning.

The process involves filling out an eligibility form to reserve your grant and then providing evidence of the quality-assured training course used.

Schools and colleges that claimed a grant in the 2021 to 2022 financial year are not eligible to apply for another grant. This includes academy converters where a claim was made by the predecessor school.

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