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Health Related News

Wellbeing In-school Training and Consultancy Support

The Herts for Learning (HfL) Wellbeing advisers offer a wide range of in school training sessions and consultancy support for schools, MATs, settings and parents/carers throughout the year, with additional services added to meet demand. Contact us to discuss your specific requirements or to make a booking by emailing:


NEW : Herts for Learning Wellbeing Quality Mark - A programme for whole school wellbeing development

Over the last two years Herts For Learning(HfL) advisers have revised and expanded the Healthy Schools Programme to add rigour and reflect new priorities. We have now integrated this revised programme into a new HfL Wellbeing Quality Mark which is now available for schools to sign up to. This award framework is in line with Ofsted expectations and best practice. Participating schools complete a detailed audit which helps to provide evidence across a wide range of wellbeing indicators and also select a single area for focused development for the year.

Specialist areas to choose from year are:

  • PSHCE and RSE curriculum
  • Physical wellbeing and healthy eating
  • Emotional and mental health and wellbeing
  • Anti-bullying
  • Online safety and digital wellbeing

In 2019 an additional section on staff wellbeing will be added.

For further details please contact or telephone 01438 844819

Change4Life Be Food Smart campaign

PHE’s new Change4Life Be Food Smart campaign places teachers in a central role to help parents and children make healthier food and drink choices at home.

To help embed healthy behaviours early in life, more than 16,500 Change4Life Be Food Smart packs will be distributed to primary schools this January as part of their School Fruit & Veg Scheme delivery, along with parent packs for each pupil to take home to their parents.

These free, curriculum-linked resource packs will help teachers deliver engaging healthy food lessons built around the English, Maths, Science and PSHE curricula, including assembly, classroom and whole-school teaching ideas.

Schools can also run their own Be Food Smart campaign. Teachers will receive a pupil campaign pack, giving young people the tools to boost understanding about how food choices impact our health and how we can all make healthier choices.

A new Be Food Smart app has also been developed to highlight just how much sugar, saturated fat and salt can be found in everyday food and drink.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist, Public Health England, said: “Children have far too much sugar, and a lot of it is before their first lesson of the day. It’s crucial for children to have a healthy breakfast, but we know the mornings in a busy household can be fraught.”

Luke Thomas, Year 4 class teacher at The Flying Bull Academy in Portsmouth, said: “The lesson plans are an excellent introduction to help unearth children's misconceptions about sugar.

“They offer teachers the opportunity to engage children in a range of activities that inform them about the issue of sugary food while giving them clear examples of how they can take action. They will be an essential addition to teachers' lessons dealing with issues such as taking responsibility and making informed choices.”

Tackling obesity is everyone’s responsibility, and schools have a vital role to play. PHE is currently working with retailers, food manufacturers and other organisations in the food industry to reduce the amount of sugar by 20% contained in products children consume.

Teachers can look out for the Be Food Smart packs which will be arriving in schools now. To find out more about the campaign and the resources available to schools, search for Change4Life/schools online or visit the website

Teenage Cancer Trust Education Programme: Provides free presentations aimed at year 10 and above.

The presentation topics covered include:

  • What is cancer?
  • Types of Cancer
  • Early warning signs
  • Treatments
  • The impact of cancer on young people
  • Healthy living
  • What we do and how students might get involved

Our education programme has been mentioned as part of the 5-Year Cancer Strategy for England 2015-2020.  We believe that by talking about cancer we can make a difference. In July we held a Parliamentary reception to launch our Education Report which evidences the significant impact of our Education Programme in findings by Stirling University. You can read the article here (and access the full report with the link at the bottom):

Ideally a presentation lasts up to an hour and works either as a standalone presentation to the whole year group together, or can form part of a health day or assembly.

Teenage Cancer Trust have visited the following schools: Watford Girls, Parmiter’s Queens, Rudolf Steiner, West Herts College, Hemel Hempstead School, Haileybury College, St. Francis College and St Albans School, The Nobel School with several others booked in over the coming months.

Some testimonials:

‘Michael’s talk was really well delivered. He made a sensitive topic accessible in a refreshing way to our young people. It was informative and engaging. I hope that we can welcome Teenage Cancer Trust back to talk to more of our students soon!’

‘I thought the presentation was delivered in a sensitive yet light-hearted and personal way which meant that the students were able to identify with Michael and, rather than feeling scared or intimidated, were empowered to be able to talk about cancer and understand it better.’

‘I thought Michael was amazing the class really took on board what he was saying, I am delighted to be able to have Michael deliver these sessions in our school.’

To find out more or book a presentation, contact or on 07734961781.


The Daily Mile’ is live in Hertfordshire – are you up for it?!
  • Does concentration slip at times in your classroom, and you just want to hit a reset switch?
  • Would you like your school to take part in a successful national wellbeing initiative?
  • Do you like solutions developed by teachers for teachers, that are tried and tested?

You may have seen the Daily Mile on the news. Developed by a Scottish Head Teacher, Elaine Wyllie, the Daily Mile aims to improve the physical, mental, emotional and social health and wellbeing of children, regardless of age or circumstances. All children go outside in all weathers to walk/run for 15 minutes a day, at a time that best suits the needs of each class. It’s completely free: there’s no kit, and no time wasted. The children run in their school uniform to minimise disruption to the school day – they just put their pencils down and go! Five schools in Hertfordshire have worked with us to pilot The Daily Mile. They’ve seen the benefits and now we want to roll this out across the county. And we’ve found teachers benefit too!

Everything you need is available at:

simply register on the site and you can get started within a fortnight. We’d love to hear from schools that are ready to take part, so we can spread the word to others (please email And if you need a little help getting started, we’d be happy to speak to your Headteacher/key contact, at your school or on the phone.

Link Between Pupil Health and Wellbeing and Attainment (November 2014)

This briefing provides a broad, succinct scope of the scientific evidence highlighting the link between health and wellbeing and educational attainment. It underlines the value for schools of promoting health and wellbeing as an integral part of a school effectiveness strategy, and highlights the important contribution of a whole-school approach.


Change4Life (C4L)change4life

The theme for this summer’s Change4Life (C4L) physical activity campaign is the “10 Minute Shake-up”, which aims to get children achieving the chief medical officer’s recommended one hour a day in practical 10 minute chunks. Change4Life and Disney have teamed up to help kids have fun and move more. Using their great stories and fantastic characters, children will be inspired to stay active over the summer break.

Families that sign-up will get a “10 Minute Shake-Up” pack with a stop watch and activity pack as well as lots of online Disney content. The sign-up leaflets are best used as a face-to-face conversation starter at events, leisure centres, summer camps, libraries, play days and any other opportunities to reach families with children aged 5-11.

A free school summer activity pack, issued through the School Fruit and Veg Scheme (SFVS) has been given to all infant schools across England. The pack, suitable for key stage 1 and 2 pupils contains a limited edition treasure hunt with eight 2D Disney characters and eight 10 minute activities. The pack will introduce the summer holiday campaign by providing leaflets and stickers for children to take home so that parents can sign up for the activity pack.

Local authorities are being asked to register their events on the Change4Life event finder and upload details of any events that are being co-branded with Change4Life so that everyone that signs-up to the campaign in your area can find out what’s happening locally.


Emotional Well Being

Tuesday 11 June 2019 is Empathy Day

Empathy Day was founded by EmpathyLab in 2017 to help young people drive a new empathy movement, building understanding and connections across society. Reading is a great way to increase real-life empathy skills. By identifying with book characters, we can all learn to see the world from other points of view, and where better to start than your local library? To celebrate Empathy Day, libraries across Hertfordshire will be highlighting titles that we think offer insights into other people’s feelings. Why not pop along to your local library and have a look? Or recommend your favourite titles on social media #ReadforEmpathy #EmpathyDay


Herts Public Health have launched a Suicide Prevention Network website

The aim of the website is to provide a forum for those working together as a network across Herts to prevent suicide within Hertfordshire. It will be used as a place to publish documents, share news items, update the network, and share our views (via the twitter feed).
It is still evolving but may be a useful site for schools to update on what’s going on locally and who the key partners are.


Self Review to Whole School Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental health and emotional wellbeing is a big factor in everyone’s lives.
Some of the latest national statistics give an indication on how it is affecting our young people.

  • 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
  • Small changes can make big differences.
  • One in eight 5 – 19 year olds had a mental disorder in 2017 – NHS Digital report November 2018. Mental health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 – November 2018
Self Review Tool

This purpose is to support schools in developing their own whole school approach to improving mental health and emotional wellbeing. As schools find themselves increasingly responding to the mental health difficulties of staff, parents and pupils, the whole school, early intervention approach has never been so needed. This document supports a renewed effort to improve, consolidate or review our early help and prevention within schools. Schools ask – “Are we doing enough?” This document lists approaches, interventions, resources, practice and tools within the local context.

Healthy Young Minds in Herts School Accreditation for Emotional Wellbeing and Suicide Aware Schools Status: The Healthy Young Minds in Herts School Accreditation process will enable schools to achieve kite mark status for their contribution to supporting mental health and wellbeing. It will help to ensure a consistent approach to school-based competency in relation to mental health and wellbeing. The Suicide Aware Schools Status award contains some additional requirements for schools to demonstrate a commitment to raising awareness.

Our multi-agency Self Review panel has been running since September and will review all applications.

Please go ‘schools’ section.

You will need to register an account to access the ‘Mental Health Leads Toolkit’ where all documents will be found under the link 'School self evaluation tool and kitemark'.
These documents and guidelines support schools obtaining this accreditation, or are to be used to review your existing practice.

The Kite Mark accreditation is fully funded and covers a three-year period.


Young people and mental health – find support in your local library

With Time to Talk day and Feeling Good Week coming up, it is always useful to know where good resources on mental health are available for young people. Hertfordshire Libraries have a scheme called Shelf Help.

Shelf Help: Reading Well for young people provides 13-18 year-olds with high quality information, support and advice on a wide range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self harm, and difficult life pressures, like bullying and exams.

Co-created by health experts and a panel of young people who have experienced mental health issues, a recommended reading list of 35 books helps young people understand and manage their wellbeing and emotional life.

The list include a wide range of self help and information titles, as well as memoir, graphic novels and fiction. Titles include The curious incident of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon, The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and popular non-fiction such as Mind your head by Juno Dawson, Blame my brain: the amazing teenage brain revealed by Nicola Morgan and The self esteem Team's guide to sex, drugs and WTFs?!! as well as self help guides Banish your body image and Breaking Free from OCD.

Libraries are a safe, trusted and non-judgemental spaces which makes them ideal places to access information in confidence. It is free to join Hertfordshire Libraries and to borrow books. Note that under 18s will need a parent or guardian signature to join the library.
For more information about Shelf Help, please see:


Just Talk Week 2019 will take place from Monday 4th to Friday 8th February 2019. Please save the date!

This is a reminder that Just Talk Week will be taking place in w/c 4th February 2019.  We will be sending resources and information to schools in the new year but if you want any information at this stage please contact Jen Beer at

Before then, as part of the campaign, the Public Health team is inviting young people aged 9-21 to help us raise mental health awareness with teenage boys across Hertfordshire.

Young people are invited to send us a story board for a short film (no more than six panels) helping us to promote the Just Talk campaign. For the winning story board/s, we will work with the entrant to professionally produce their film which may well become a key part of our campaign. This will look great on their CV and the creator/creators of the winning 'piece' will also receive £100 in vouchers.

For more details and the entry forms, please contact Jen Beer at

The closing date for entries will be 5pm, Friday 15th February 2019. If you're unsure whether to get involved, please see testimonials below from schools that participated earlier this year.

Last year, out of hundreds of entries, we chose two winners: Alex Strazza from Verulam School, and Louis Webb from Richard Hale School.

Alex Strazza said: “When I first entered the competition I thought it was just another piece of homework, but then after looking into it I realised it was really important for boys all across the country to talk and tell people their problems. I think boys tend to keep problems inside, we want to stay strong and not look weak in a way. But there’s no need for that, if you share your problems then it will help everything. I really enjoyed making the film and I’m a lot more confident as a result!”

Louis Webb had his storyboard made into an animation film. He said:

“I entered the campaign because I thought it was important that everyone knew what mental health is and that it’s important to speak to people if you’re feeling a little bit down. My teacher Jane was a very big part of it; she explained mental health really well, made lessons fun and really helped us all with this project. I really enjoyed doing it, especially when I had a Skype meeting with the animator to make changes to the final animation.”

Assistant Head of Verulam School, Mrs Harrison, added: “It’s really important for boys to be able to talk about mental health and this campaign certainly helped with that. 
 “To get 80 entries to a piece of non-compulsory homework was fantastic; we were delighted that four of these got shortlisted and that Alex’s film was one of the two winning films.”

Family Worker at Richard Hale School, Jane Michelson, added: “This campaign made such a difference; it really got the young people engaged. Many of them didn’t understand mental health before but through this they really got it. “We had 185 entries, which is amazing! We tested the concepts on year 10 students, who agreed that the films made it really simple and easy to understand mental health and encouraged conversations. Well done to Louis, we are very proud of him.”

The winning films from 2018 are available at:

All of the information and resources are available online on our new website:


Free online mental health support for 10-to-25-year-olds

Children and young people in Hertfordshire can now get free online emotional and mental health support using a website called If they are aged between 10 and 25 and registered with a Hertfordshire GP surgery, they can sign up, choose an avatar (an online character) to represent them anonymously and have an online chat with a counsellor or therapist. The counsellor or therapist can help with lots of different problems, including family problems, eating disorders, loneliness, bullying, anxiety and depression.

Kooth’s counsellors and therapists are available until 10pm, 365 days a year. Users can talk to other young people anonymously on the forums whenever they like, and keep an online journal.

Users can subscribe to to read its online magazine and can also use Kooth to set goals with their online counsellor or therapist and keep a record of how they are doing. Schools are being offered free training to encourage pupils to use

Groups of young people in Hertfordshire have tested Kooth using trial accounts, and they felt that online counselling would be really useful for children and young people.

To sign up with Kooth go to and enter a user name and password. None of the other young people who use Kooth will be able to see this so users can stay safe and anonymous. Visit for more information.


Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools

DfE have launched new guidance for schools on how to identify and support those pupils whose behaviour suggests they may have unmet mental health needs. It includes:

  • how and when to refer to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • practical advice to support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • strengthening pupil resilience
  • tools to identify pupils for likely to need extra support
  • where/how to access community support

One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems.  DfE have developed this advice and practical tools to help schools promote positive mental health in their pupils and identify and address those with less severe problems at an early stage and build their resilience. This advice will also help schools identify and support pupils with more severe needs and help them make appropriate referrals to specialist agencies such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) where necessary.

Download guidance from:


Healthy Eating

Healthy eating teaching resources
Change4Life’s healthy eating teaching resources

Developed by educational experts, these curriculum-linked resources encourage pupils to become Food Detectives and to learn about sugar and 5 a Day.

The Change4Life School Zone

The Change4Life School Zone is a website containing curriculum-linked resources and inspiration to help you teach children about healthy eating and being active.

Change4Life is Public Health England’s response to the relentless rise in obesity. Its consumer campaigns encourage families with children aged 5-11 to eat well, move more and live longer.

To access the School Zone visit:

School Food Standards

The DfE standards are mandatory in all maintained schools, and new academies and free schools. The national school food standards are in place to ensure that food provided to pupils is nutritious and of high quality; to promote good nutritional health in all pupils; protect those who are nutritionally vulnerable and promote good eating behaviour. Providing good quality school food improves children’s health, behaviour and performance.

A user-friendly summary of the standards and guidance to support standards implementation can be found at:

Included on the site is a check list for head teachers


Nutritional Fact Sheets

Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle is important from early years into adulthood.  The whole school approach to healthy eating is important with the emphasis on healthy food provision and accessibility to fluids as water, fruit juices and milk drinks with less than 5% added sugar  The fact sheets on saturated fat, sugar, salt and fluid can be used to encourage children in activities linked to healthy lifestyle. More...