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Past event

Researching Education and Mental Health: Where are we now?

Online registration has now closed. If you want to attend this event, please email for details of how to register onsite.

Mental health is currently a key focus of social policy in Britain, with educational settings increasingly looked to for provision of support in this area. Yet mental health and wellbeing remain relatively under-researched in the education sector. This conference will provide a timely and much needed forum to bring together practitioners, academics, researchers, students and others with a keen interest in the area of education, mental health and wellbeing. This one-day event offers you opportunities to learn about the latest research, debate key issues, share good practice, and help set a research agenda to drive forward new research across all educational settings, from early years to adult community learning.

A leading expert in the field will open the conference and a diverse and interactive programme will follow. This includes symposia to showcase recent research; parallel roundtable discussions (please pre-book when you register) on pertinent topics such as how we bridge the research to practice gap for evidence-based mental health and wellbeing initiatives, and the impact new responsibilities related to learners’ mental health has on education staff and their wellbeing; a panel discussion on ‘hot topics’ warranting urgent research attention; and poster presentations.


10.00 Registration, refreshments and networking
10.20 Welcome and introduction to the day
10.30 Staff Mental Health – A Systemic Perspective
Sinead McBrearty, Education Support Partnership
11.15 Symposium 1: Researching Mental Health, Well-Being and Education
Scoping the landscape: Where are we now?
(3 x oral presentations 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions)
  Paper 1: Self-harm in primary school children: the voices of the educational professionals, parents and children
Sarah Adams, Lecturer Primary Initial Teacher Education, School of Education, University of Leicester
  Paper 2: Mental well-being from adolescence into early adulthood: an analysis of data from the longitudinal survey of young people in England (Next Steps)
Professor Gaynor Attwood, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England, Professor Paul Croll FAcSS, University of Reading
  Paper 3: The PGCE journey – well-being and workload
Dr Emma Clarke and Aimee Quickfall, Senior lecturers, School of teacher development
12.15 Lunch (including tea and coffee) and poster viewing
  Book of Beasties: The mental wellness card game – A pilot study
Dr Michelle Jayman and Dr Annita Ventouris, Lecturers in Education, University of West London
  Adapting a proven socio-emotional intervention to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Bronach Hughes, Pyramid Project Co-ordinator at the University of West London
  Exploring the experiences and attitudes of primary school boys towards autistic peers in the mainstream school setting: A focus group study
Alfred Loveland, PhD candidate, University of Surrey
  Let’s talk Technology with boys
Dr Constantina Panourgia, Lecturer in Psychology, Bournemouth University, Associate Professor Jacqui Taylor, Bournemouth University
  Effectiveness of the Super Skills for Life (SSL) programme in enhancing children’s emotional well-being, emotional regulation and cognitive control: a randomized controlled trial study in Mauritius
Karishma Ramdhonee-Dowlot, PhD Candidate, University of Roehampton
  Identifying early risk factors for mental health problems in early adolscents, in those with object naming difficulties at age five
Kathryn Fradley, PhD Researcher, Mancester Metropolitan University
  A Bad Night’s Sleep on Campus: An Interview Study of First Year University Students with Poor Sleep Quality
Lucy Foulkes, Lecturer in Psychology in Education, Department of Education, University of York
  Breaking down boundaries? Exploring mutuality through art-making in an open studio mental health setting
Dr Lydia Lewis, University of Wolverhampton and Helen Spandler, University of Central Lancashire
  Evaluation of a psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy service in a Leeds primary school: Supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing across the school and community
Richard Baron, partner, Research in Dynamic Environments and Christian Moeller, partner, Research in Dynamic Environments
13.00 Symposium 2: Researching Mental Health, Well-Being and Education
Tackling the issues: What are we doing? How? Is it working?
(3 x oral presentations 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions)
  Paper 1: Children and young people’s experiences and perceptions of completing mental health measures for research
Ola Demkowicz, Senior Tutor and Doctoral Researcher, University of Manchester Institute of Education
  Paper 2: International mixed methods review of the effectiveness and experiences of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management program: Looking at child and teacher outcomes
Dr Elizabeth Nye, Lecturer, University of Oxford
  Paper 3: Innovative psychoeducation interventions for ‘at-risk’ and socially excluded young people
Professor Andrew Ravenscroft, Professor of Education, University of East London
14.00 Round table discussions – please choose one topic when registering

Topic 1
Interventions and initiatives to promote and support mental health and wellbeing for school-aged children: from evidence base to implementation. How do we bridge the research to practice gap?

Whole School Resilience Building Approaches to Promote Mental Health: Enabling and constraining factors involved in the change process
Dr Josie Maitland, Research Fellow, University of Brighton, UK

Using a lesson study approach to deliver mental health education: student-teacher and mentor perspectives
Sarah Adams, Lecturer Primary Initial Teacher Education, University of Leicester

Topic 2
Addressing mental health and wellbeing in Higher Education 

The importance of mental health and wellbeing to doctoral students on their PhD journey: A Q methodology study
Dr Nichola Kentzer, Lecturer, The Open University
Dr Alex Berry, Independent Researcher

The Experiences of Postgraduate Research Students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Background: An Exploratory Study
Dr Caroline Lafarge, Senior Lecturer, UWL

Topic 3
Supporting staff working across all educational settings. How is staff’s own well-being supported? What needs to be done? By whom?

POWERup – Promoting the Occupational Well-being of EducatoRs: Initial concept and development
Dr Elizabeth Nye, Lecturer, University of Oxford

Teachers’ Stories of Struggling: Reflections on a doctoral study. The implications of better understanding what it means to be struggling as a teacher
Suzanne Culshaw, PhD Student, School of Education, University of Hertfordshire


Topic 4
Educational settings for promoting and supporting WB and MH needs: Policy, recommended practice, and reality. What is the role/responsibility of Education looking forward?

Supporting Wellbeing, Emotional Resilience and Learning (SWERL) in schools: Is Knowledge Exchange the right approach to change management in schools?
Dr Amelia Roberts, Deputy Director, UCL Centre for Inclusive Education

Developing novel approaches to support teaching wellbeing
Richard Brock, Postdoctoral Fellow, King’s College London
Emma Towers, Teaching Fellow in Education Policy, King’s College London
Alex Manning, Lecturer in Science Education, King’s College London

Topic 5
Understanding mental health and wellbeing in educational settings: Listening to learners’ perspectives

On Becoming a Young Person: what does it mean to be an adolescent in an English secondary school?
Susan Davies, postgraduate PhD Researcher, University of East Anglia

‘In hospital I’m treated as if I’m still sick… but in college, I’m treated as normal’; transformative learning for adults with mental health problems
Dr Denise Buchanan, Research Associate, UCL Institute of Education, London

Topic 6
Delegates’ choice: Creative approaches to supporting wellbeing

Using arts and culture to support students learning and resilience
Alfonso Pezzella, Lecturer, Ruairi Mulhern, Lecturer, Nicky Lambert, Associate Professor, Department of Mental Health and Social Work and Jenny Phillips, Lecturer, Department of Adult, Child and Midwifery, Middlesex University      

The role of animals in supporting students to achieve, thrive and survive the educational journey!
Jenny Phillips, Lecturer, Department of Adult, Child and Midwifery, Ruairi Mulhern, Lecturer, Nicky Lambert, Associate Professor, Department of Mental Health and Social Work, Middlesex University


Panel discussion and Q&A
ntroduction from the chair: Dr Sveta Mayer –Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Programme Researcher, UCL
Followed by feedback from the round table discussions: key issues, implications for policy and practice, future research agenda

15.50 Closing remarks
15.55 Completion of evaluation forms
16.00 Close of event