Senior mental health leads in schools


Senior mental health leads in schools might be a role you are unaware of.

The Department for Education (DfE) is offering a senior member of staff in every school or college the opportunity to get a grant for training to help the lead develop or introduce a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing in their setting.

The DfE explains that taking a coordinated and evidence-informed approach to mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges leads to improved pupil and student emotional health and wellbeing which can help readiness to learn. 

The grant is a contribution to the cost of training and the hiring of supply staff whilst leads are engaged in learning.

Senior mental health leads in schools: eligibility

Between September 2021 and March 2022, about a third of all state schools and colleges will be able to apply and access the grant. The government has committed to offer senior lead training to all state schools and colleges by 2025.

Which staff can get the training?

Your school or college can decide who gets the training as every setting’s circumstances are different. Training could be for your:

  • Headteacher
  • Deputy headteacher
  • Member of the senior leadership team (SLT)
  • If not a senior leader, an appropriate member of staff empowered to develop and oversee your setting’s whole school or college approach, with the full support of the SLT

Existing mental health leads

Existing mental health leads, or someone who has previously had mental health and wellbeing training, can still be nominated for this training.

The grant must be used on training to help develop or introduce your whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing, and existing senior leads might wish to:

  • Develop or refresh their knowledge and skills in specific priority areas
  • Get more advanced training
  • Get a relevant qualification

How the training will be delivered

When you apply for a grant, DfE will ask you about your training needs and learning preferences to help you identify the quality-assured course that most closely meets your needs.

The training you choose can be integrated with other training and resources you are already using and contribute towards your continuous professional development.

You can use this list of resources to promote mental health and wellbeing.

This training is not compulsory. Having a senior mental health lead who can attend this training is encouraged to help you develop your setting’s holistic approach to promoting and supporting the mental wellbeing of pupils, students and staff, and make best use of existing resources.

We have written another support article which provides an overview of CPD requirements for school staff.

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