School Mental Health Specialist – DfE assured

School Mental Health Specialist programme DfE assured

The School Mental Health Specialist is accredited as a 2-year postgraduate diploma (PGDIP) or a full Master's degree (MA)



The ‘School Mental Health Specialist’ is a postgraduate programme developed by Minds Ahead in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University. It has been jointly designed and informed by school leaders, educational experts and mental health professionals.

As the first of its kind, this school-based mental health programme is the only postgraduate programme exclusively for school colleagues wishing to develop specialist knowledge in the emerging area of public mental health.

MA applicants can apply for a postgraduate loan through Gov.UK. Our partner, Leeds Beckett University, has a dedicated support team to help students with their applications.

Developing staff to make a real difference

As the School Mental Health Specialist, you will be a key practitioner in your school or college supporting children and young people directly. You will gain knowledge of the latest research and theories relating to mental health in education from a wide range of perspectives and will learn how to apply these to benefit students and staff within your school or college.

The second cohort of students will start in September 2022.

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“The Carnegie School of Education, at Leeds Beckett University, have worked successfully with Minds Ahead since their inception and I am thrilled that we can develop this relationship further by working together on this new qualification."​

Professor Damien Page, Former Dean of the Carnegie School of Education

“It is clear that there is a need for first class mental health support in our schools. I am delighted that Minds Ahead are working on a new postgraduate programme which will bring school mental health expertise to our schools.”​

Baroness Nicky Morgan, Former Secretary of State for Education

 "Running a special academy which serves children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, makes it clear to me that we need new and informed training routes into working in mental health in schools. I am delighted to be a part of the group designing the School Mental Health Specialist qualification."

Scott Jacques, Executive Headteacher, Springwell Academy

Schools are facing a mental health crisis and are struggling to access the support that they need

Outcomes for students with a mental health need are very low, attendance is a major concern. Staff wellbeing is also affected with over half of teachers saying that their personal relationships are affected by their challenges at work. Now more than ever, it’s to make a tangible difference to the practice of schools and colleges. 

The School Mental Health Specialist programme covers general, evidence-based approaches to supporting a whole school or college approach to mental health. By gaining this professional qualification, your school or college will have dedicated and qualified support as part of the school team. 

Minds Ahead have won several highly competitive awards to design and develop this innovative programme:

Minds Ahead is an UnLtd Award Winner

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