Drawing from a Scottish study, this article examines ways in which the school environment can impact upon the well-being of pupils and their associated behaviour. It identifies tensions between existing school structures and cultures and the promotion of positive mental health, particularly in relation to the curriculum, pastoral care, discipline and teacher/pupil relationships. In many cases, schools attempt to address mental well-being by bolting fragmented initiatives onto existing systems, and we argue that a more fundamental review of values, policies and practices throughout the school is needed. This paper also looks at the roles of interagency workers in schools, and reports that, in most cases, these workers are seen as offering a parallel service to the mainstream school, targeted at the most troubled or troublesome pupils. We suggest that schools should draw on the skills and understandings of these workers to help build new cultures throughout the school for the benefit of all children and young people.
- emotional well-being
- interagency working