HOA Mental Health Offer for Schools Update


In year 4, the HOA will continue to fund an emotional well-being key work service across those 11 schools in Hastings with the greatest level of need. The service, which a recent evaluation suggested has had a significant positive impact on young people’s emotional well-being, will now provide a key work service for both parents and their children. Each school will access one to one support for a number of children, alongside group work for those children who would benefit from this.
Alongside this, Boingboing will continue to deliver training and support for schools to further implement whole school approaches to supporting children and young people’s emotional well-being, alongside support to implement Personal, social and health education for primary and secondary schools. Boingboing are continuing to deliver training sessions for primary schools on core aspects of children’s mental health.  This work will tie into the ESCC mental health training offer for all schools 

Here is an overview of the HOA funded projects continuing in year 4:

HOA Mental health Key workers continue in Hastings Schools

A key priority for the HOA going forward in respect of promoting children’s and young people’s emotional well-being is the delivery of a ‘family key work’ service, delivered largely in schools.   To take this forward, we have recommissioned ESCC ‘Early Help’ team to deliver a key work service focused on the 11 schools in Hastings identified with the greatest level of need.

The service will provide one to one short term interventions with individual children & young people (alongside interventions with their families) and group work interventions within targeted schools.  

The service will focus on work with children and young people in school years 6 and 7 and support will be accessed by school referral to the Key work team.  During the period of Covid-19 school closures, as a result of increased contact with children and young people in the home, a new model of disseminating strategies for parents to support their child’s wellbeing has been developed. This has had a positive impact on the children and young people, and the family as a whole. 

The key work team intend to increase this work; supporting parents to improve their own strategies to support their children’s emotional well-being and help manage such issues as increased anxiety. These strategies include basic mindfulness, breathing and how to self-regulate. 

During this year, we are aiming to engage more fully with colleagues across East Sussex, so that Hastings can build on the work being developed within the ESCC mental health support teams and ensure effective join up with the wider programme of work being delivered by East Sussex.

Boingboing Mental Health and emotional wellbeing training and Support package for Hastings Schools

Whole school training

Last year, HOA funded Boingboing to deliver whole school training and support work for schools to promote children and young people’s emotional well-being. Much of the development work for this training has been completed, however, delivery had temporarily paused due to Covid 19. 

We aim to continue the delivery of this work in schools up to March 2021. All schools in Hastings and St Leonard’s can still access free support for their school. 

Alongside training support, Boingboing have produced a resource booklet ‘Covid 19 – Top Tips’ for enhancing a resilient climate in school during the crisis through a whole school approach’ available to download here

Whole school approach- Primary and secondary school support

Boingboing will continue to offer all Hastings and St Leonard’s schools 2 free bespoke days of mental health and emotional wellbeing consultancy support, to help school’s develop their  whole school approach to mental health and emotional well-being.  This means that Boingboing will be able to support schools school prepare for issues that may be arising as a result of Covid; around transition, bereavement, family conflict and anxiety and school refusal, resilience, pupil and parent voice and staff mental well-being. Boingboing can help your school take any actions forward that may have arisen so far from your attendance on the ESCC online mental health wellbeing for education programme.

PSHE support for Primary and for secondary

Boingboing can also offer support to your primary school to deliver PHSE Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing sessions and can deliver training sessions either face to face or virtually, bespoke to your primary school. They can work with your school to develop lessons for use in schools and for children at home in addition to signposting excellent resources online. Schools engaging so far have found the support particularly helpful around capturing pupil voice regarding the new RSHE curriculum alongside accessing  focused help for their PSHE leads to be statutory ready. They have also found that they have been able to directly support their teachers and TAs through Boingboing’s co-teaching offer.

Primary School MHEW bespoke 1-day training session.

Boingboing can also work with primary schools to offer a day of free training either virtually or in school to your whole staff team or a smaller identified group of staff. 

Training could be based around general mental health awareness or around a mental health need your staff team have identified that they would like further training on and arranged with you to suit your school’s availability. Schools can request support as required. Training could includefor example support around managing anxiety at school and at home or understanding the impact of trauma on behaviour.

Please contact annerathbone@boingboing.org.uk  if you would like to know more about this FREE offer for Hastings schools. 

Other Projects

Last year, the HOA funded several specialist training and support projects. These projects have supported practitioners and parents to engage with children and young people experiencing particular risks to their emotional wellbeing and mental health. Please see below information about two of these projects, that have both produced tool kits which may be useful.

  1. SWIFT’S Guidance for schools on how to respond to harmful sexual behavior issues

SWIFT have been providing ongoing support and guidance on how to respond to harmful sexual behavior issues, including how to manage any identified risks. They have worked with Hastings and St Leonard’s schools to develop the Guided Conversations Toolkit, three toolkits to assist schools in responding to concerns about sexual abuse, including peer on peer harmful sexual behavior:

  • Supporting children who have experienced sexual abuse
  • Supporting children or young people who have displayed harmful sexual behavior
  • Communicating with parents

These FREE resources can be accessed here

As the project developed SWIFT also developed an educational guide “Puzzled about porn” for young people, as well as a booklet for parents on how to communicate with their children about pornography. These FREE resources can be accessed here

Schools have found the guided conversations toolkit useful as a reference when responding to concerns about sexual abuse in terms of providing useful ideas on communication and appropriate support for pupils to alleviate any emotional wellbeing concerns. Some schools have accessed additional staff training to discuss such issues and to raise awareness that such issues could be affecting their pupils. If you are a Hastings or St Leonard’s school who would still like to take up the offer of training around using the tool kit contact HOA to arrange your virtual session. 

  1. SWIFT and Operation Encompass in Hastings and St Leonards schools

As a result of HOA funding, SWIFT in conjunction with the police, have implemented Operation Encompass in Hastings and St Leonards schools. The service allows for schools to be more aware about children affected by domestic abuse by receiving information from the police and offer a timely response. To compliment this service SWIFT created a bespoke resource for schools to use when responding to children and families affected by domestic abuse. 

Schools have provided feedback to report that the toolkit has been a great support, offering much needed guidance to their children and families. With the tool kit and the new school and police information sharing process, school have reported that they feel more supported and informed in their approach to families where domestic abuse of concern. 

The Domestic Abuse toolkits were published, and schools were offered training to feel confident in using these.These FREE resources can be accessed here.