Continuing our mission to improve the health of the UK, we asked the question ‘Should every school have a Head of Wellbeing?’ See our findings here.
Our research with think tank 2020health, highlights areas of concern and unmet need - including low levels of exercise, high levels of obesity and poor emotional wellbeing – and how these could be vastly improved with dedicated, coordinated support in the school setting.
The research highlighted the most important influence on children's and young people’s development was found to be the parental home, closely followed by a school environment.
According to the report, 75% of school children and young people living with mental illness go undiagnosed, which illustrates a need for wellbeing initiatives to focus both on physical and emotional factors. 24% of 11-15 year old boys recorded as obese in 2011 (among the highest levels recorded).It also found that 73% of teaching staff felt their job had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, suggesting that there should be more of a focus on teacher welfare.
Further findings call for the provision of additional staff training to help identify the early warning signs of mental health illness in young people, particularly as half of all diagnosable mental health conditions are thought to start before the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 21.
The report highlights the potential positive outcomes that can be gained in employing a Head of Wellbeing and the implementation and evaluation of our two year pilot should clearly show their effectiveness.