The Achieving Wellbeing (CLA) Programme coaches and supports Designated Teachers in schools and key staff in post-16 settings to promote a  culture where the personalised learning needs of  looked after and care experienced children and young people and their personal, emotional and academic needs are prioritised in order to improve wellbeing and attainment.

This one-year package of professional training and leadership development opportunities is supported by an experienced Achievement Coach over nine half day visits  and specifically targets the improved attainment and wellbeing of an identified cohort of children and young people.  We do this by building the capacity of Designated Teachers to fulfil their statutory role or in post-16 settings, by supporting key staff to understand and support the needs of young people as they transition from care.

Delivered in partnership with a funding Virtual School, the programme includes:

  • A comprehensive coach led Achieving Wellbeing (CLA) review to identify areas of need, created by combining the National Association of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH) Framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the school's provision for children in care (CIC/CIC/LAC)* and the Achieving Wellbeing Focus Review developed by Achievement for All.

  • An assigned Achievement Coach who will work with senior leaders/Governors to plan a programme of activity based on the identified areas for further development, then support improvement for the coming year.

  • Half day coaching visits that will be used to support leadership coaching, training delivery, “train the trainer” sessions, briefings and impact-evaluation reporting. Coach deployment agreed in discussion with Headteacher/Principal/Senior Leadership Team

  • Coaching support of high quality PEP submissions in line with commissioning Virtual School systems and requirements where required

  • Baseline and progress data tracked and monitored for an identified cohort of looked after and/or care experienced children and young people

  • Baseline and progress wellbeing measured and monitored for the identified cohort using Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires

  • Case study capture of the progress of at least one of the young people targeted specifically by the programme (optional)

  • 24/7 access to The Bubble (online professional development portal) including materials to support Deisgnated Teachers an key staff in training colleagues and other key professionals

The Programme consists of five modules:

The first module (Emotional Wellbeing and Core Strength) explores the critical relationship between emotional wellbeing and mental health, and the impact these two factors can have on learning and personal development. The Achievement for All concept of core strength is also introduced, how it is central to self-efficacy, resilience and personal effectiveness, and its importance in developing lifelong learning capacity in children and young people.

The second module (Making Sense of Behaviours) gives education professionals a deeper insight into childhood trauma, neglect, attachment issues and the impact these have on the observed behaviours of children and young people.

In the Classroom offers a rich seam of developmental tools, strategies and approaches aimed at transforming the culture and climate of the whole education setting. This is relevant to experienced staff as well as those who are newly qualified. New ways of developing inclusive classroom practice and improving behaviour can be explored, introduced and developed.

A range of Therapeutic Interventions are being assembled for your consideration, including tools to build cognition, mindfulness meditations and other emotional wellbeing and mental health strategies, that can be considered as "next steps" on the achievement through wellbeing journey.

And finally Learning in Family Teams (LiFT) is the module dedicated to looked after and previously looked after children and care leavers and supports Designated Teachers and key staff to improve whole setting understanding, to identify and dismantle barriers to progress and work more effectively with other professionals including Virtual Schools

For more information, contact: Anne Cameron, Programme Manager - Children Looked After

 What do schools and Virtual Schools say? Read more testimonials here

"Schools are now the front line triage service for the increasingly complex mental health needs of pupils and in many cases families. At a time when society and communities are awakening to the importance/impact of mental health, with the additional demands such new knowledge brings in terms of unanswered questions and seeking of support, school staff in all positions need to have the skills and training to develop, implement and maintain a culture and climate of positive mental health. This is a challenge both in terms of the daily practice of individual school staff  but also for school leadership who need to support staff well being in achieving the desired outcomes for the whole school community.

In relation to many of our most vulnerable children such as those in the care system, this rise in demand for mental health support has impacted on the ability of schools to deliver sustainable support, as unlike with the rise in demand, any increase in training and resources to meet the needs has not been comparative. As a result, the only approach that is manageable and effective in my opinion is that of a whole school approach, based on common principles, language, expectations and accountability.

Working with Achievement for All has enabled St Mary's to develop and implement an enhanced structure, working across the whole school community from TA's to governors, enabling myself as a head teacher to build on previous work to develop opportunities for emotional well-being with a justification that is evidence based, but recognises the importance and uniqueness of place. The impact of such an approach is already visible in outcomes for children (high attendance, progress, attainment but most importantly increasingly smiling and keen to engage in supportive but challenging relationships). It is also seen throughout the school through staff moral and practice, as the work with Achievement for All  has opened new channels of communication to both support practice and staff mental well-being".

Gary Hilton, Headteacher at Berwick St Mary's CE School, Northumberland - Feb 2019