Future In Mind

Future in Mind

Future in Mind Telford was born in November 2016, when Public Health Telford approached STSA (formerly known as the Severn Teaching School Alliance) to discuss how we might identify, support and improve the mental health of all children and their families across our borough. Future in Mind Telford, dovetails with NHS England Future in Mind, the Government Green Paper for mental health and the statutory aspect of the Health Education curriculum 2020. The project partners are: schools – primary, secondary, special, Behaviour Support Team, School Nurses/Health Visitors, Strengthening Families Team, Early Years, Private & Voluntary Sector, Alternative Provision and the Virtual School for children in care. The model is sustainable with each partner paying an affordable sum each year. Each mental health lead receives professional development, training materials and resources appropriate for use by non-clinical staff three times a year, which they cascade to their staff.

The aim of the project is to improve the mental health of children, families and staff by:

  • upskilling all partners with a shared understanding and vocabulary of mental health
  • reducing the stigma attached to mental health
  • developing resilience, raising self-esteem and confidence in staff and pupils
  • identifying and offering early interventions to for all mental health needs
  • having an integrated whole system approach to drive improvements for all stakeholders
  • working with key professionals to identify, support and reduce poor mental health
  • delivering evidence-based strategies for staff, children and families to use

During lockdown schools were supported with a range of resources that were appropriate for use face to face and remote learning. On return to school all partners received a Recovery Curriculum with appropriate resources to support the transition back to school. As a result of Future in Mind, staff have been able to meet the emotional health and wellbeing needs of all children and signpost those who need additional/specialist support. There has been continued professional development throughout lockdown, focused on attachment linked to COVID, the use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Solution Focused Brief Therapy for the non-clinical specialist and a focus on parental mental health and the impact this has on children and young people.

The children in our settings have an advocate to support their mental health, a collegiate approach to ensuring early intervention by being able to swiftly identify mental health needs. The adults have a shared vocabulary and the confidence to talk about mental health and not be a bystander. Most importantly children get the right help at the right time.

We are so proud of what has been achieved through true collegiate working between schools, children and their families. Through being partners we can meet the needs of all our children and young people. The programme is being rolled out across a neighbouring Local Authority and has attracted positive attention from other local areas. The work has been recognised by Public Health England’s Duncan Selbie, and the DfE.

The way it works:

• Each organisation nominates an Emotional Health and Wellbeing Lead (the most appropriate person within their setting)

• The Lead attends the termly Continuing Professional Development

• The Lead cascades the Continuing Professional Development in their own setting and works with staff to complete any gap tasks set


What every organisation receives

• Termly high quality CPD based on an aspect of emotional health and wellbeing identified as a key aspect within T&W – topics covered to date include e-safety and grief and loss

• All resources from the CPD session along with slides to enable leads to cascade training to school staff


• Termly gap task set to trial and embed good practice


Aspects of emotional health and wellbeing being addressed through FIM:

Year Autumn Spring Summer
2016-2017 – Year 1   An introduction to mental health Bereavement and Loss Practical strategies for bereavement and Loss
2017-2018 – Year 2   BEAT – whole day awareness training LGBT and the impact on mental health  Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education Self-Harm – Understanding & Preventing Self-Harm in Schools
2018-2019 – Year 3   The impact of the digital age on mental health   Attachment and the impact on children and young people’s mental health Sleep and the impact on children, young people and adult mental health
2019-2020 – Year 4   Supporting the statutory RSE curriculum from 2020   Supporting the work of Emotional Health and Wellbeing Leads to bring about change   Identifying and supporting children with sensory processing difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorder in girls
2021-2022 Using therapeutic approaches CBT Motivational Interviewing Solution Focused Brief Therapy Attachment post COVID Understanding the impact of parental mental health on children and young people
2022-2023   Understanding & supporting children with grief & loss   Understanding core emotions Understanding & supporting children & young people who self harm
2023-2024   EBSA  CBT Messages Behind the Behaviour

These aspects have been covered as a result of local need in partnership with Public Health, BEE-U(CAMHS) and wider professional partnerships.

How does the Future in Mind project remain sustainable?

A Service Level Agreement is established between each organisation and STSA costing £384 per annum

• The SLA provides all the CPD and resources for the year

Where can I find £384?

This is less than 1/3 of the PPG for one child, which will support the emotional health and wellbeing of the whole organisation.

Ofsted 2015 – Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare

Outstanding judgement:

‘Pupils can explain accurately and confidently how to keep themselves healthy. They make informed choices about healthy eating, fitness and their emotional and mental well-being. They have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships and are confident in staying safe from abuse and exploitation’.

Good judgement:

‘The school’s open culture promotes all aspects of pupils’ welfare. Pupils are safe and feel safe. They have opportunities to learn how to keep themselves safe. They enjoy learning about how to stay healthy and about emotional and mental health, safe and positive relationships and how to prevent misuse of technology’.


Future in Mind Shropshire was successfully launched in 2021/2022 and is currently entering a third year.


Service Level Agreements for 2023/24 were sent to all Telford & Shropshire schools, settings and services during the Summer term 2023. For further information please contact stsa@taw.org.uk