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Promoting Resilience in schools

Resilience can be described as the ability to bounce back and cope with stress and adversity. Evidence more strongly supports universal interventions or programmes that take a whole-school approach to promoting resilience than targeting children with perceived mental health needs or concerns. In order to promote emotional wellbeing and mental, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Public Health Team has provided limited funding to enable delivery of emotional resilience programmes to children and young people in both primary and secondary schools across Buckinghamshire. The two evidence based programmes on offer to schools are the Penn Resilience Programme and the Friends Resilience programme that consists of separate age-appropriate programmes, Friends for Life and My Friends Youth.

  • The Penn programme for secondary aged children with a focus on Years 7/8.
  • The Friends for Life programme for primary aged children with a focus on Years 4 or 5/6.
  • My Friends Youth programme for secondary aged children with a focus on Years 7/8.

Why in schools?

The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “in order to help their pupils succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that primary schools and secondary schools should be supported to adopt a comprehensive, ‘whole school’ approach to promoting the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. Schools can also make a difference because:

  • Early childhood and adolescence represent key periods for promoting emotional wellbeing
  • Schools are ideal environments and have a role in supporting children and young people to be resilient and mentally healthy
  • By promoting the wellbeing of children and young people and intervening early when problems arise, we can reduce the chances of long term problems.

The Public Health Offer to schools

To develop the capability and capacity within schools by commissioning training opportunities for schools to deliver emotional resilience programmes to children and young people:

  • For the Penn Resilience Programme (limited numbers only)
    • Free 5-day training to receive accreditation
    • Lifetime access to licensed materials for accredited staff to enable delivery of the Penn Resilience programme in schools
  • Support to evaluate the resilience programme in schools through the use of an online evaluation tool/toolkit.

Expectation from schools

In order for schools to access this training opportunity it is expected that:

  • Schools upon receipt of training will deliver the programme universally as a whole-class approach
  • Complete and sign an agreement to abide by the terms of the user license
  • As licensed programmes, only accredited staff (those who have attended training and hold a certificate) will use the licensed materials for delivery of the programme in their school

Next steps

Read the Briefing for Schools and the PRP & Healthy Minds documents.

Alternatively, please contact Anita Hazel, Public Health Practitioner further information regarding the Bucks resilience programmes.

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