Developing innovative solutions

Minds Ahead know that ambitious and innovative ideas are required to ensure that school mental health in the UK is among the best in the world. Minds Ahead explores ideas, harnesses a depth of experience and pulls on evidence to generate and develop solutions which will make a significant change to our schools.

Minds Ahead are currently working with partners and colleagues to develop two innovative solutions:

A new school mental specialist

A new role is needed to reshape specialist support in schools. The school mental health specialist would be an expert in the problems that children face at school such as bullying, exam stress and low moods. They would be trained and supported to help the whole school community so that everyone benefits. They would employ evidence-based actions that can be taken within school to strengthen mental health for all pupils as well as focused support for those in greater need. They would build professional links with local NHS and other mental health providers, ensuring effective pathways where specialist care is required.

This new school-based role should build on the successes of the ‘Teach First’ model so that it attracts high-calibre candidates to this challenging new role whilst working in close partnership with schools and local mental health services.


A school mental health data institute

Easily accessible data on children’s mental health outcomes is not available. This new Institute will commission, collect and analyse data on mental health from all the relevant bodies and sources e.g. Ofsted reports, bullying statistics and SEND Mental Health Data. Such a resource does not currently exist and schools, parents and young people do not know how well their school performs in relation to mental health.

This new institute would highlight areas of good practice, encouraging the education system as a whole to move towards the best. Most importantly, by making the data available, the Institute will identify new themes, pose challenging questions, increase accountability and lead a national conversation about mental health in schools. It will be independent of Government.

Contact us to discuss how we can bring these or other innovative ideas to life

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"As the lead forward thinking professional organisation for school and public health nursing, SAPHNA are delighted to be working alongside Minds ahead. Combining our  strength, expertise, knowledge and passion gives huge potential to our shared vision of building mentally healthy schools and, as a result, mentally healthy and intelligent children, young people and families. We look forward to bringing about change together."
Sharon White OBE, CEO, School and public health nurses association (SAPHNA)
"Dean Johnstone, the chief executive of Minds Ahead argued for youth mental health work to be transformed into a career of choice for young graduates."    
Schools week, 24 May 2018