Showcase your provision for Estyn

The Estyn framework requires Estyn inspectors to routinely assess and report on pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

Estyn is the education and training inspectorate for Wales. It is responsible for inspecting all schools and training facilities, from nursery schools to adult community learning schemes. Estyn will inspect all schools and training providers at least once between 2016 and 2023, although this is currently suspended due to COVID-19. 

Estyn's framework

Estyn uses a common inspection framework to assess schools. There are four overall judgements that it can reach about schools:

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Adequate and needs improvement
  • Unsatisfactory and needs urgent improvement

The Esytn inspection framework is built around five key areas:

  • Standards
  • Wellbeing and attitudes to learning
  • Teaching and learning experiences
  • Care, support and guidance
  • Leadership and management

Estyn’s research shows that around two-thirds of primary schools and a third of secondary schools in Wales have an inclusive whole-school approach to supporting pupils’ health and wellbeing.

Things schools can do

  • Develop a whole-school approach: whole-school participation is vital. Support from leadership teams, prioritisation of pupil voice and involving parents and carers is key.
  • Assess your existing provision: it’s important to regularly evaluate and assess your school’s current performance, as well as action planning for improvement. 
  • Staff induction, training and supervision: high-quality training and support should be available both for school leaders and for the broader staff team. This website can be a useful tool for staff induction and continuous professional development.
  • Prioritise pupil voices: putting children at the heart of any whole-school approach to mental health is key. Find out more about how to do this.
  • Involve parents and carers: Parents and carers should feel engaged with the school and its approach to wellbeing. Find out more about how to do this.
  • Support staff wellbeing: a mentally healthy school looks after the wellbeing of both pupils and staff. Giving staff the right mental health support will enable them to support their pupils in turn. Find out more about how to do this.
  • Link with external support: good links with external mental health support are important. This could include links with your local CAMHS, counselling providers or other organisations in your area. Find out more about how to find these services local to you.

Practical steps to take

Estyn’s Happy and Healthy report is full of useful information for schools on how to adopt a successful whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. The report lists a number of things that schools with a whole-school approach to pupils’ mental health and wellbeing have. We have included these below, along with some of our practical suggestions on how to implement them in your school.

Case study

West Park Primary School gives pupils a voice

By giving pupils a strong voice and involving them in decision-making, West Park Primary School has developed an effective approach to improve engagement and attitudes to learning.

Read the full case study on Estyn's website.

Top tips

Assess your current provision

Know your starting point and your end goal before you begin.

Support staff

Support staff with their own wellbeing, and train them to successfully look after their pupils’ wellbeing too.

Make sure children are heard

An inclusive school culture that prioritises pupils’ voices is key.

Resources

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Pyramid of need framework

Pyramid of need framework

This pyramid of need framework helps schools consider what data might be used to assess the needs of...

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Primary AGENDA: Supporting children in making positive relationships matter

Primary AGENDA: Supporting children in making positive relationships matter

A free online toolkit exploring issues around relationships, equality and diversity.

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Emotionally healthy schools resource pack

Emotionally healthy schools resource pack

A resource pack on emotionally healthy schools, including a checklist.

View resource
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A whole school approach to supporting loss and bereavement

A whole school approach to supporting loss and bereavement

Understand how children and young people grieve and the important role the whole school community...

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