The Eight Principles of a Whole School Approach

The Somerset Wellbeing Framework uses the eight principles model developed by Public Health England to achieve an holistic approach to wellbeing. The principles underpin an effective whole-school approach and provide the scaffolding needed to cover every aspect of school life.  

Why adopt a whole school approach?

A whole-school approach recognises that wellbeing is the responsibility of everyone, whether you’re the headteacher, site manager, teacher, pupil or parents. 10% of pupils are known to have a clinically diagnosed mental health issue (DfE, 2015); a statistic that doesn’t account for pupils who struggle but are yet to ask for help, or account for how many members of staff may have difficulties they keep hidden. A whole-school approach sends the message that there is no difference between people with diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues, and no judgement towards these people.


If a school has a whole-school approach to pupil mental health it means the school is ensuring that wellbeing is at the heart of its community. Having the wellbeing of both pupils and staff as a core value of a school not only improves morale and performance, but normalises conversations about mental health, enabling people to speak out sooner if they are struggling or worried about someone else.


What do these 8 Key Principles look like in practice?

  • Leadership and Management that supports and champions efforts to promote emotional health and wellbeing that is known and felt throughout the school
  • An Ethos and Environment that promotes respect and values diversity
  • Curriculum and Learning that promotes resilience and supports social and emotional learning
  • Pupil Participation that recognises children and young people's role as the 'agents of change' 
  • Staff Wellbeing & Development that helps teachers to maintain their own mental health alongside the skills and confidence to support pupils
  • Involving Parents & Carers so that wellbeing is fundamental to home and school
  • Identifying Needs, raising concerns and knowing effective routes and mechanisms for support
  • Appropriate referral to Targeted Support