29 & 30 September 2021 | 2pm to 6pm daily (Also available on-demand)

An online conference hosted by SecEd and Headteacher Update 

The mental health and wellbeing of students was a significant priority for schools before the Covid-19 pandemic. This agenda has now become an essential element of recovery work.

The 2021/22 academic year will bring many challenges for the wellbeing of pupils as we continue our recovery from the pandemic and begin to deal with the aftermath of national lockdowns and social restrictions – schools are already reporting an increase in mental health and safeguarding referrals, interventions and support needs.

This timely event is designed to support schools that are focused on ensuring the good mental health and wellbeing of pupils as they return from the summer break and begin a new school year.

There will be a focus on general best practice for supporting wellbeing – as well as Covid-specific issues and safeguarding.

Our programme features a range of leading mental health and wellbeing experts and all the sessions at the event will be practical in nature. We have asked our speakers to focus on offering ideas, advice, tips, guidance and solutions.

Key themes include:

  • Spotting the Signs: How can we be sure to spot those students whose problems and challenges are at risk of slipping under the radar? What are the trends we are seeing post-Covid? What should we be alert for from September and beyond?

  • Senior Mental Health Leads: This is a new role for schools and the government has begun rolling out funding for the training involved – but what does this role look like and entail? What is best practice?

  • Effective Relationships and Sex Education as part of wider mental health support, including a focus on the Ofsted review of sexual abuse in schools

  • Effective safeguarding practice as it relates to mental health, including Covid-related mental health

Other themes include emotional literacy, whole-school approaches to mental health, protecting and promoting staff wellbeing, tackling sexual harassment/abuse in schools, teaching techniques, emotional wellbeing in the classroom, trauma and more.

The conference will be streamed live online across two days and will be available on-demand for three months after the event.

There will be 12 presentations delivered live and a further four sessions offered as on-demand only, for delegates. Of the 16 sessions, eight are cross-phase, four are primary-focused, four are secondary-focused.

As well as the presentations, delegates attending the live event will be able to enjoy networking time, special presentations from event partners, and the conference chat function, which gives access to presenters, the conference chair, useful links and resources. All presentations and related resources will be available to download, either during the event or on-demand.

Summary of topics

This two-day online conference brings together the latest practice, advice, research evidence, and case studies of mental health and wellbeing practice and interventions.

We have a range of high-profile speakers including mental health ambassador Dr Pooky Knightsmith, RSE expert Lucy Emmerson, safeguarding guru Elizabeth Rose, trauma specialists Shahana Knight and Mike Armiger, wellbeing specialist and author Frederika Roberts and many more.

The event will feature four keynote sessions, aimed at both primary and secondary school colleagues:

  1. Common Mental Health conditions, spotting the signs & effective interventions: Practical tips for school staff
  2. The links between safeguarding and mental health: What should we be doing to keep children safe?
  3. Whole-School Wellbeing: Protecting and promoting staff wellbeing
  4. Connection not disconnection: Teaching techniques to support good mental health

The event will feature eight live workshop sessions, three for primary colleagues, three for secondary colleagues, and two cross phase:

  1. Cross-Phase: Teaching emotional literacy in your school
  2. Cross-Phase: Whole-School Approaches to Mental Health: Core principles of effective practice
  3. Primary: Senior Mental Health Lead: Embedding the role in your primary school
  4. Primary: Sustaining high quality Relationships and Sex Education
  5. Primary: Coaching Circles & Emotional Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom
  6. Secondary: The DMHL checklist: A practical guide to developing the role & embedding a whole school approach
  7. Secondary: Sexual harassment & abuse in schools: Supporting your students
  8. Secondary: Case Study: Effective whole-school mental health work at Sidmouth College

The event will feature four further sessions available as bonus on-demand downloads:

  1. Cross-Phase: Supporting young people with traumatic experiences in schools
  2. Cross-Phase: Anna Freud Centre (Topic TBC)
  3. Primary: Can you teach wellbeing?
  4. Secondary: Enhanced Healthy Schools Status: A whole-school focus on emotional health and wellbeing

All presentations will be available to view on-demand for three months after the conference.

Who should attend?

This event is designed for those working within the primary or secondary education sectors and is relevant to:

  • Headteachers and deputy headteachers
  • Senior leaders with responsibility for, among other areas, PSHE, pastoral provision, pupil and staff wellbeing
  • Senior Mental Health Leads
  • School Pastoral Staff
  • PSHE Leads
  • Pupil Premium Coordinators
  • Heads of Year
  • Education advisors
  • Governors


SecEd is the established, trusted newspaper dedicated exclusively to secondary education. Supported by weekly e-bulletins and sec-ed.co.uk, the SecEd brand aims to provide all those teaching in secondary education with news, analysis, best practice guidance, and research-based content.
To learn more about SecEd please click here.



Headteacher Update is published once every half-term and is distributed free to every primary headteacher in the UK. Packed with updates on policy and legislation as well as practical, applicable guidance for school management, curriculum change, Ofsted guidance and much more, Headteacher Update is the dependable, professional read for the primary school leader.

To find out more about Headteacher Update, click here.