Norfolk academy trust’s plans to bid for government cash for mental health support

Valerie Moore, chief executive of the Right for Success Trust. Picture: Steve Adams

Valerie Moore, chief executive of the Right for Success Trust. Picture: Steve Adams

A trust behind schools in Norfolk has revealed plans to lodge a bid for funding for a scheme which would develop mental health support in the classroom.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb. Picture: Mark Bullimore

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb. Picture: Mark Bullimore - Credit: Archant

The Right for Success Trust says it plans to apply to the Department for Education for the cash, which it would use to enhance the support available for pupils in both its own schools and further afield.

Last week, a panel - which included North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb - met at the school to push the idea forward.

It saw Right for Success chief executive Valerie Moore OBE open talks, speaking about the trust's belief in an inclusive approach to education.

They were also joined by Dr Julie Teatheredge, of Anglia Ruskin University, and Michelle Moore, a counsellor with Creative Minds, as well as senior members of the trust.

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Mr Lamb said there was evidence that teachers can provide much-needed support 'if they are given the tools to do it'.

'I think it's brilliant that you're doing this,' he said. 'Early intervention is essential, as is the need to involve parents and teachers.

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'There is clear evidence this works.'

He said the way the system currently worked was 'not saving the state money'.

'The costs of medication, incarceration and so many other results of poor mental health care at the outset are enormous,' he said.

The bid, details of which are in their infancy, will be led by trust performance director David Pollock and will soon be submitted to the government.

Mental health provision in schools has been identified as a key concern around the country.

Though much work is ongoing to make sure stretched budgets do not impact support, some schools have said they are limited in what they can do.

At the meeting, the trust acknowledged there is no 'one size fits all' solution and that a joined-up approach was the best way forward.

Sewell Park Academy, one of the trust's schools in Norwich, has dedicated a staff training day to mental health support.

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