Leeds Beckett University education experts to develop mental wellbeing framework for schools in Middle East and North Africa
Education experts at Leeds Beckett University have been commissioned by the British Council to develop a new mental wellbeing framework of support for schools in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett – led by Professor Anthony Maher and Rachel Bostwick - are creating the new framework with international Ministry of Education officials, school ambassadors, and British Council working groups across eight participating countries.
Countries involved include Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt.
Professor Maher explained: “The framework aims to provide a structure for schools across the MENA region, to plan and develop their mental wellbeing provision to support the needs of students and staff.
“We are working closely with schools to ensure that the new framework and training materials will be culturally sensitive, contextually appropriate, and very much user-led by the school ambassadors who are supporting the mental wellbeing of staff and students in schools in the region.”
The project began in September 2021 and the team have established six key areas of focus so far.
Areas include working with national organisations and agencies and developing a metal wellbeing school culture.
Training materials will be created and delivered to school ambassadors – in both English and Arabic - to support their schools in developing their mental wellbeing provision in relation to each of these areas of focus.
Professor Maher added: “It is crucial that the framework provides structured guidance but is also flexible enough to be adapted to national and local priorities, objectives, strategies and partnership work.”
The project builds on the extensive work of the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools at Leeds Beckett.
The Centre’s own professional development framework - the ‘School Mental Health Award’ - supports schools both nationally and internationally to evidence their policies and initiatives that work towards improving emotional health and wellbeing for both staff and pupils.
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