People have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care, as described in NICE's information on making decisions about your care.
Making decisions using NICE guidelines explains how we use words to show the strength (or certainty) of our recommendations, and has information about prescribing medicines (including off-label use), professional guidelines, standards and laws (including on consent and mental capacity), and safeguarding.
Recommendations relating to parents or carers might be less relevant to older young people, especially those in post-16 education settings and may need to be interpreted accordingly.
1.1.1 Adopt a whole-school approach to support positive social, emotional and mental wellbeing of staff, children and young people (including people with a neurodiverse condition) in primary and secondary education.
1.1.3 Review the school's policies and procedures regularly to make sure that they promote social, emotional and mental wellbeing positively and consistently. This should include making them consistent with relational approaches to social, emotional and mental wellbeing.
1.1.4 Review regularly the school's accessibility plan, medical conditions policy and approach to understanding behaviour, taking into account neurodiversity and communication needs. Also take into account the value of trauma-informed approaches and parental co-production.
1.1.5 Consider monitoring and evaluating the impact and effectiveness of the whole-school approach as part of a school improvement strategy.
1.1.6 Support the whole-school approach by:
having an outward-facing approach to the community and to engaging with local communities and groups
strengthening links to external agencies that can provide additional support, such as local children's health and care services and relevant voluntary and community sector organisations
having shared principles for engagement between education and mental health services, for example agreeing referral pathways
promoting the involvement of education providers in wider local strategic decision making about children and young people's mental health
having ways of feeding back to parents and carers.
1.1.7 Ensure that school governance structures support the whole-school approach and that school leadership is actively involved in supporting the whole-school approach. Make the responsibility for social, emotional and mental wellbeing curriculum content part of the remit of school leadership (including governance).
1.1.8 Ensure that staff have continuing professional development to support both their own wellbeing and the implementation of the school's approach. This could include training in emotional literacy, trauma, neurodiversity, communication needs and relational approaches.
1.1.9 Signpost staff to quality-assured local and national resources to support their wellbeing in line with the Department for Education's education staff wellbeing charter.
1.1.10 Support staff in their pastoral roles by providing protected time for supervision and continuing professional development.
1.1.11 Make peer supervision available for teachers and other school staff to enable them to have space and support to discuss issues and reflect on practice.
1.1.12 Ensure that all teachers can recognise children and young people's pastoral needs, and that they understand the wider context of the pupils' lived experiences and how they interact with their environment. Provide them with additional training or support if needed.
1.1.13 Ensure that all information held by the school related to the local early help offer is kept up to date.
1.1.14 Involve parents and carers in designing and implementing the whole‑school approach.
1.1.15 Involve children and young people in discussing and agreeing whole‑school approaches and communicate with them regularly about decisions, so they understand how their views inform practice. Take into account the opinions of all members of the school community. This may mean making adjustments to address neurodiversity and communication needs.
1.1.16 Designate a lead person to determine what is needed to successfully implement universal curriculum interventions. The lead should also be the go-to person for advice on the most appropriate educational resources for any intervention. The lead person should be someone in a leadership post who has strategic responsibilities and oversight of social, emotional and mental wellbeing across the school.
1.1.17 When implementing whole-school approaches, take into account the core values that the school culture and practice are built on, and the psychological safety of pupils, staff members and leadership. For example, this could involve developing a school culture and ethos in which children, young people and staff feel safe to make and learn from mistakes.
1.1.18 Adopt a 'graduated response' (or 'step up–step down') approach to support (moving between universal and targeted support as relevant) as an integral part of the whole-school approach alongside broader universal approaches. Ensure that staff understand this approach and have the right support to implement it (see the recommendations on targeted support).
1.1.19 Local public health departments, and children and young people's mental health services, should proactively gather and be responsive to the views and concerns of schools and colleges in their area about children and young people's social, emotional and mental wellbeing.
1.1.20 Local authorities should compile, and keep up to date, a directory of the local services that promote children and young people's social emotional and mental wellbeing and are available to support schools in their area. This should include:
what the services can offer
local mental health and special educational needs and disability (SEND) services, including services that might be less well known
details of how to access the services.
1.1.21 Take risk factors for poor social, emotional and mental wellbeing into account when developing the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. This should include the contribution that schools can make to improving social, emotional and mental wellbeing and take into account schools' impact on learning and life chances (see the recommendations on identification and risk factors).
1.1.22 The local integrated care system and schools should work together to identify opportunities for joint practice to support the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of children and young people, for example agreeing principles for when and how to share information.
For a short explanation of why the committee made these recommendations and how they might affect practice, see the rationale and impact section on whole-school approach.
Full details of the evidence and the committee's discussion are in evidence review A: whole-school approaches.
1.2.1 Ensure that the curriculum for all pupils includes evidence-based, culturally appropriate information about social, emotional and mental wellbeing to develop children and young people's knowledge and skills as part of the whole-school approach.
1.2.2 Take account of the Department for Education's relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education guidance when selecting or developing universal curriculum content.
1.2.3 Use an approach that builds on children and young people's previous learning (for example, a spiral curriculum) when planning and delivering a curriculum intervention for all pupils.
1.2.4 Integrate relevant activities into all aspects of education to reinforce the curriculum offer about social, emotional and mental wellbeing and skills.
1.2.5 Use non-judgemental 'strengths-based' approaches to support children and young people's social, emotional and mental wellbeing. These are approaches to improve or develop their:
self-worth (for example, self-esteem, empowerment, self-care)
skills (for example, problem solving skills, social skills, communication skills)
resilience (for example, coping skills and strategies, perseverance).
1.2.6 Use universal interventions that align with the whole-school approach, for example 'child- (or young person) to-trusted-adult' support.
1.2.7 Consider universal interventions informed by mindfulness or cognitive behavioural approaches (including trauma-focused cognitive behavioural approaches) for all children and young people. These should be delivered by trained staff who can teach children and young people how to use the approach and support them when they do.
1.2.8 Consider including regular rhythmic physical activity in the universal curriculum. If it is included, ensure that there is time and space available for this.
For a short explanation of why the committee made these recommendations and how they might affect practice, see the rationale and impact section on universal curriculum content.
Full details of the evidence and the committee's discussion are in:
1.4.1 Have clear guidance on how to identify individual children and young people and groups of people for targeted support based on their specific needs (see the section on identifying children and young people at risk of poor social, emotional and mental wellbeing).
1.4.2 Offer targeted individual or group support to children and young people who have been identified as needing additional social, emotional or mental health support. Use trained, experienced practitioners who are competent to provide the support. Any support should be culturally sensitive and take into account possible neurodiversity, communication needs and other needs of the child or young person.
1.4.3 Actively involve the parents or carers of the child or young person when deciding whether to offer targeted support (but think about whether the young person is competent to give their consent or there are reasons not to involve the parents or carers). Discuss with them any support that is being proposed and make sure that they understand it and agree with it.
1.4.4 Explain the targeted support to the child or young person and involve them in decisions about the support offered to them, including when and where it is offered. Where appropriate and possible, obtain their agreement before starting the support.
1.4.5 Take into account the range of individual needs and risks when putting together a group for targeted group support, including the developmental age and cultural background of the pupils it is being delivered to.
1.4.6 Promote a range of targeted support, including peer-to-peer support, that allows children and young people to express difficult feelings and talk about their experiences.
1.4.7 Aim to minimise the risk of any unintended adverse consequences and stigma and proactively normalise seeking support. Take care not to reinforce bullying by singling people out for support.
1.4.8 Ensure that all targeted support is delivered collaboratively with any other external agencies or services, the professional network around the child or young person and any support that the child or young person is already receiving.
For a short explanation of why the committee made these recommendations and how they might affect practice, see the rationale and impact section on targeted support.
Full details of the evidence and the committee's discussion are in:
This section defines terms that have been used in a particular way for this guideline. For other definitions see the NICE glossary and the Think Local Act Personal Care and Support Jargon Buster.
Highly stressful, and potentially traumatic, events or situations that occur during childhood or adolescence. They can be a single event, or prolonged threats to, and breaches of, the child or young person's safety, security, trust or bodily integrity.
Providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child's life. For example, see the Early Intervention Foundation.
The belief that one is in a safe place and will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.
An approach to classroom or school management that focuses on establishing clear expectations for appropriate behaviour, monitoring behaviour, and then reinforcing appropriate behaviour and redirecting or sanctioning inappropriate behaviour.
Approaches that emphasise connection, belonging and the teaching of effective conflict resolution skills. These approaches assume that behaviour is a means of communication and that behaviour that challenges can be a sign of unmet emotional needs. Relational approaches approach behaviour with curiosity rather than judgement. They are grounded in psychological theory and support children to build their self-regulation skills. They take account of context and the child or young person's lived experiences.
Any kind of activity that is based on a steady and prominent beat. During rhythmic activities individuals participate in rhythmic body movement, for example rebounding on a trampoline or moving to a beat.
A course of study in which pupils study the same topics in ever-increasing complexity throughout their time at school to reinforce previous lessons.
Support aimed at individuals or groups who have been identified as being at greater risk of poor social, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Approaches to support children and young people who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose troubled behaviour is a barrier to learning.
Adults that children and young people can turn to in times of worry, stress or crisis.
For the purposes of this guideline, 'whole-school' also covers colleges, further education providers and other educational settings.
A whole-school approach defines the entire school community as a single unit and involves coordinated action between 3 interrelated components:
curriculum, teaching and learning
school ethos and environment
family and community partnership.
The 8 principles to promoting a whole-school and college approach to mental health andwellbeing are set out in Department for Education and Public Health England's guidance on promoting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing.