Wellbeing has been a big issue in schools for a long time, and rightly so. But the events of 2020 have put mental health and wellbeing at the forefront in schools, with lockdown, grief, uncertainty, and changes to our way of life all taking a toll on young people’s minds.
The stats on children’s mental health due to the pandemic are concerning, with research from the Prince’s Trust reported in The Guardian finding that ‘more than a quarter of young people felt unable to cope with life amid the pandemic’. Similarly, a Censuswide survey of 2,000 UK 16- to 25-year-olds also found that ‘almost half of those in learning worried that missing out on education would set them back for the rest of their life’.
Having wellbeing governors on boards isn’t a solution to the mental health crisis. But having a dedicated person to champion wellbeing does help make sure that mental health and wellbeing provision is kept as a high priority in schools.
The link governor for wellbeing can ask questions about provision, and help with planning a strategy that puts wellbeing at the core of school life, embedding it in the curriculum and other activities.
They can also act as the point of contact on the governing board for staff who oversee mental health and wellbeing provisions in the school. This is helpful for staff who know there’s a specific person in place to support with wellbeing – and who they can meet with to discuss their plans and priorities for the coming months.
Becoming a wellbeing governor
You can’t apply directly to become a wellbeing governor – instead, you’ll apply to become a governor, then once you’re on the board, you can put yourself forward for the wellbeing link governor role.
How can you become a wellbeing governor?
1 – Apply to become a governor by completing your online profile, and we’ll match you with a school in need
2- You’ll have the opportunity to outline your interest/experience in mental health and wellbeing in the application form, so we can find a school looking for someone with your skillset
3 – Once you’re on the board, you can apply to become a link governor for wellbeing if the position is vacant, or join a committee focused on wellbeing
Already a wellbeing governor?
Download our self-review activity to get thinking and talking about the mental health provision in your school.