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Past event

Education on the breadline: Mental wellbeing and the cost-of-living crisis

One in six children in England aged five to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem in 2021 – five children in every classroom. We also know that children’s subjective wellbeing continues to decline: The Good Childhood report (2022) revealed that children’s happiness with ‘life as a whole’ was significantly lower in 2019-20 than a decade earlier. While access to NHS mental health services for 18 to 25-year-olds was almost a fifth higher in 2021/22 than pre-pandemic – with around 1 in 5 university students estimated to have a diagnosed mental health problem.

At all levels of education there is disturbing evidence of impoverished mental health and wellbeing. Alongside this, the UK is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. The emerging picture is stark – Education Support recently assessed triple the number of school staff calling their crisis helpline as at suicide risk. Certainly, spiralling cost-of-living is taking a huge toll on educators and students and their families. Disturbing forecasts show per-pupil funding will be slashed for more than 1,300 schools next year with planned cuts to overall budgets for thousands more. In these exceptionally challenging times, how can schools, colleges and universities provide timely and appropriate mental wellbeing support for their learners while simultaneously balancing escalating costs with ever diminishing budgets?

These critical issues, at the heart of the education sector, were the focus of this conference which brought together expert voices from the frontline –  teaching staff, practitioners and researchers working in education settings, and higher education students – to present the latest research evidence and discuss creative, solution-focussed approaches to support our learning communities in crisis.


10:00 Welcome and Introduction
Anthea Rose, Jonathan Glazzard, Aimee Quickfall and Michelle Jayman
10:15 Pyramid clubs: a low-cost but high impact intervention in schools
Bronach Hughes
10:35 Playful Pedagogies: Embedding Mental Health and Wellbeing in Primary Schools
Naomi Field
10:55 Interactive activity
11:00 Championing Co-production: Developing Effective Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategies in Secondary Schools
Michelle Jayman and Jay Ayliffe
11:20 Panel Discussion
Jack Costello and Sophie Edmonds
11:50 Closing remarks
Anthea Rose, Jonathan Glazzard, Aimee Quickfall and Michelle Jayman
12:00 Close of event

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Chairs and Speakers

Profile picture of Jonathan Glazzard
Jonathan Glazzard, Professor

Rosalind Hollis Professor of Education for Social Justice at University of Hull

Jonathan Glazzard is the Rosalind Hollis Professor of Education for Social Justice at the University of Hull. He researches LGBTQ+, mental health, disability and early literacy. In 2018, he became co-convenor of the BERA SIG for Mental Health...

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Anthea Rose, Dr

Research Fellow at University of Lincoln

Anthea Rose is a research fellow at the Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching (LALT), University of Lincoln. She is currently leading the local Lincolnshire evaluation of the Uni Connect programme, funded by the Office for Students (OfS),...

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Michelle Jayman, Dr

Researcher/Lecturer at University of Roehampton

Michelle Jayman is a developmental psychologist with a strong background in education and extensive work experience in schools. She is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton and a Champion for the British Psychological Society...

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Aimee Quickfall, Dr

Head of School - School of Education at Leeds Trinity University

Aimee is Head of the School of Teacher Education at Leeds Trinity University, one of the BERA SIG leads for Mental Health and Wellbeing, and a member of the BERA Conference Committee. Her research interests are well-being and workload in...

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Bronach Hughes, Ms

Pyramid Project Co-ordinator at University of West London

I have worked with children for over 25 years in the statutory and the voluntary sectors, both in paid work and as a volunteer, including being a school governor, a Brownie and Guide leader, and in delivering a mental health intervention to...

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Naomi Field

I am a teacher of 17 years – having primarily taught Drama and English in a Secondary school. I have also worked part time in a primary setting and most recently have become involved in the implementation of mental health and emotional...

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Jay Ayliffe, Mr


I am a recent History and Politics graduate from the University of Cambridge, and I have spent the last six months volunteering as an English teacher at a number of schools in South-East Asia. I'm interested in exploring how we can empower young...

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Sophie Edmonds, Miss

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant at Thamesmead School

I am a 26-year-old student, studying Psychology and counselling at the University of Roehampton. I am in Year 3 of my course and have a keen interest in educational psychology. I have worked in the education system for the past 6 years, so I am...

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Jack Costello

Deputy Principal and Safeguarding Lead at Richmond Park Academy

I am Deputy Principal & Designated Safeguarding Lead at Richmond Park Academy in South West London. I have nearly 30 years experience working in schools in the UK and Australia. I was a winner of the Pearson National Teacher of the Year Award...

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