An academy trust with 11 schools across the county has pledged to invest more than £100,000 in measures to support the mental health of its pupils.

The Wensum Trust, which has its headquarters in Hellesdon, has lined-up a six-figure investment after agreeing to put mental health at the forefront of its agenda.

This investment will be used to roll out a range of measures that are designed to benefit its children from a well-being perspective which, the Trust believes, will improve their overall learning.

Among these measures are the recruitment of a new educational psychologist to work across all 11 schools and the roll-out of emotion coaching, a psychological approach to education which teaches children how to respond to their feelings.

Daniel Thrower, who succeeded the late Gerry Batty as the Trust's chief executive 18 months ago, said: "We are undertaking a major shift away from a behaviourist model, where children's behaviour is controlled and managed in school, often with punitive consequences, to a relational approach where relationships are key and behaviour is seen as a form of communication.

"We believe all children need support to feel engaged in school life.

"Unfortunately, for some children, traditional behaviour management approaches can lead to school becoming a place of fear which they sadly endure, rather than enjoy.

"We have seen this, especially among pupils who are not academically minded, and are determined to change that.

"All our staff are now trained in facilitating a different conversation with pupils that will resonate well with parents, carers and most importantly the children."

The Trust recently opened a new special resource facility, The Base, at Arden Grove Infant and Nursery in Hellesdon, which is a purpose-built site catering for children with social, emotional and mental health needs.

It also hopes to launch a research and training arm to share its methods with other schools and professionals, while Sarah Naish, an author and expert in child trauma has been appointed a member of the Trust, along with former MP Norman Lamb, as an honorary member for mental health.

Mr Thrower added: "We are committed to meeting the needs of every child by making a significant change in the culture our schools have. This, I believe, is overdue. It is a challenging thing to do and will take time to fully embed, but we are on the right path."