A Cambridgeshire secondary school has been awarded for the mental health support it offers.  

Abbey College, in Ramsey, received the gold-status award from Leeds Beckett University which has a research unit dedicated to mental health in schools.  

And the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools Initiative praised Abbey College for having mental health awareness at the core of its mission.  

Headteacher Andy Christoforou said: “At our school, we prioritise wellbeing and firmly believe that a healthy and supported student is a successful student.  

“Our virtues of humility, intuition and passion form the basis for supporting one other’s wellbeing and mental health.  

“These values underpin our commitment to creating a caring community, where each individual’s growth and emotional health are paramount.  

“Our Gold School Mental Health Award stands as a testament to that.” 

The school was assessed over eight specific competencies. 

Abbey College was found to excel in leadership and strategy, its organisational structure for staff and pupils, the support offered to staff and pupils and in professional development and learning.  

How it works with parents, carers and external services was also mentioned.  

Assessors praised the school for its tailored support programmes, knowledge-sharing, behavioural hubs, staff involvement in decision-making and collaboration with parents.  

For example, the school’s Wellbeing & Workload Charter promotes the wellbeing of staff through several key activities.  

These include opportunities for staff to take wellbeing time, engage in training days, access an employee assistance programme, and join the school’s wellbeing committees.  

The school says this "underscores the school’s commitment to the health and mental wellbeing of its staff, ensuring they have the support and resources needed to thrive in their roles”.  

Schemes for students include the Offer and Opportunity Programme which provides a safe and nurturing environment during lunchtimes and after school.