Derby City Council are to award a grant of £596,000 to Redwood Primary School to lead and co-ordinate a programme across the city to develop emotionally healthy schools with the money coming from the government backed Opportunity Area programme grant.

The Department of Education announced the Opportunity Areas programme in October 2016 with Derby being one of six areas chosen for their low levels of social mobility measured in the social mobility index, Derby placing 303rd out of 324.

Derby will receive up to £6 million over three years and in addition the Department of Education is now supporting this work within OA’s by developing ‘Essential Life Skills’ programme over two years to enable children and young people aged 5- 18 to participate in regular extra-curricular activities. In Derby this amounts to a two year grant of up to £800,000 in 2017-18 and up to £1.6m in 2018-19.

The school’s programme around emotionally healthy schools will include open procurement of a provider for leadership training for school senior leaders as Designated Leads for Mental Health, the development of the Schools Mental Health Portal (Local Offer) and funding for schools to develop and implement their own emotional healthy schools plan.

Cllr Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:

“We’re delighted that we have the opportunity to use this funding to support the emotional health of our children and young people across the city.

“I’m sure that Redwood Primary School will develop a fantastic programme and I’m looking forward to working with Jane and her team in the coming years

It’s vital that we improve the levels of social mobility in the city and this is another piece in the puzzle to help us achieve that.”

Jane Calladine, Head of Redwood Primary School said:

“At Redwood we are delighted to play this role in the City, which will ensure every school has a trained Mental Health leader, who knows how to support pupils, and refer them on when necessary.

“Leaders across the City have identified pupil emotional health as one of their prime concerns, and Redwood is keen to work with Derby schools, training providers and mental health specialists to create the best support possible for Derby pupils.

“Together with a portal of information and advice for schools, a programme of therapies from Derby University undergraduates, and a package of information for families with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, we will have a system in place that will continue for years to come, supporting all of our pupils to thrive and achieve.”