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Evaluation of Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme (previously known as Talented Teacher Programme)

Teenage boy in the classroom
Researchers: Emily Tanner
Published: March 2016
    1. Aim

Place2Be developed the Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme (previously the Talented Teacher Programme) for new teachers to address a growing concern about the mental health of pupils in the UK. It aimed to equip new teachers with the skills and confidence to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of their pupils effectively. 

The aims of the study were to:

  • investigate the effectiveness of Place2Be’s Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme in developing new teachers’ skills and confidence in supporting children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing;
  • assess the effects of the training on new teachers’ perceptions and self-rated skills in seven domains (such as classroom behaviour management or job satisfaction and the future);
  • evaluate the study participants’ perceptions of the effects of Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme training on their teaching practices, as compared to new teachers who did not receive this training.

Findings

The Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme was effective in improving the knowledge, ability and confidence of new teachers. This indicates that the programme achieved its aim of developing the skills and confidence of new teachers so that they can better support pupils’ mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The key findings were:

  • Teachers who participated in the programme had increased levels of ability and confidence when identifying and supporting pupils with mental health needs.
  • As a result of participation, teachers had greater confidence when working with parents who they found challenging. Teachers attributed this change directly to the training and support they received on the Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme. 
  • The Place2Think sessions were unique to the Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme. Run by professional child therapists, they were highly valued by teachers who felt this level of support and advice was otherwise lacking in their NQT year.
  • Participation in the programme led to increased self-reflection and a greater understanding of how teachers’ own feelings and state of mind can affect their capabilities. This in turn resulted in improved personal wellbeing for teachers.

Methods

The evaluation of the Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme was a three year project carried out by NatCen Social Research for Place2Be based on web and paper surveys, depth interviews and focus groups with teachers who had attended the Mental Health Champions Class Teacher Programme as well as web surveys and depth interviews with a comparison sample of teachers who had not attended the programme.

Read the report