Wellbeing Award

Developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), the Wellbeing Award for Schools is intended to help schools prepare and equip themselves to promote emotional wellbeing and positive mental health across the whole-school community. NCB’s vision is an education system where good emotional wellbeing and mental health are at the heart of the culture and ethos of all schools, so that pupils, with the support of their teachers, can build confidence and flourish. Evidence shows us that wellbeing is of central importance to learning and attainment, with high levels of wellbeing associated with improved academic outcomes. Conversely, pupils who have mental health problems are more likely to have academic difficulties at school and experience social disadvantage later in adult life.

To achieve this vision, NCB advocates the use of a ‘whole-school approach’ where all aspects of the school experience are harnessed to promote the emotional wellbeing and mental health of pupils and staff. It is an approach where emotional wellbeing and mental health is everybody’s business.

The Wellbeing Award for Schools is a welcome opportunity to recognise the exceptional work that schools do in this area. The key features of a whole-school approach form the basis of the award, and it provides schools with a benchmark of best practice against which to test itself. We believe that this celebration of success will encourage more schools to adopt an approach that puts emotional wellbeing and mental health at the heart of what they do.


There are five stages in the WAS process and the school will be supported throughout in order to evidence best practice and to achieve the award:

  1. School self-evaluation

  2. Preparation of an Action Plan

  3. Implementation of actions and collecting evidence into a portfolio

  4. Interim assessment of progress

  5. Verification of achievement of the award

The award is expected to be achieved within a maximum of 12-15 months. Within this timescale, the process is supportive, developmental and progressive, rather than a box-ticking, target-driven exercise.


Main Objectives of the Wellbeing award

Vision and Strategy

Commit to a clear vision and strategy of how the school will promote and protect emotional wellbeing and mental health.


Have systems and external partnerships in place to support different types of emotional and mental health needs. Share these with people in need.

Positive Culture

Working to address the negative stigma attached to mental health and raising awareness; ensuring that emotional wellbeing and mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.


Work with the whole school community to support emotional wellbeing and mental health, this includes parents, carers, children and other members in our community.

Professional Development

Commit to high-quality, ongoing professional development on emotional wellbeing and mental health for all appropriate stakeholders.

Staff wellbeing

Actively promote emotional wellbeing and mental health, including wellbeing events.