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An Interview with Andrew Chadwick

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Andrew Chadwick, NASENCO, Senior Mental Health Lead Advanced Award

Andrew is currently the Safeguarding, Ambition and Inclusion Lead for Focus-Education. Prior to this, he was Head of School and SENCo in a primary school in Yorkshire.
Andrew is incredibly passionate about delivering high-quality education, and equality, to all children. He has taken the time to review what he gained from our Senior Mental Health Leadership Advanced Award below, as well as providing some general tips for anyone new to the role.

What made you choose the Real Training courses over other options?

I found Real Training through the NASENCO qualification. The thing which sold it for me was that I wanted to do an online course that I could take at my own pace, the time that I wanted to use, and when I wanted to do it. Real Training provided high-quality support and an active peer group which was really beneficial. When schools were given the funding for Senior Mental Health Leadership, I knew that Real Training would give great support, high-quality training and real-school life examples. It was the Senior Mental Health Leadership Advanced Award training through Real Training, in the list of DfE providers which was a particular draw as I wanted to get the biggest impact for our children as possible.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

Both courses were excellent. You definitely get out what you put in. Tutor feedback is really helpful. It was also good to have them gently nudging every now and again and checking in. Contact with tutors is always swift. Campus Online makes things really clear. You know what you need to complete and where you are at any time.

How have the courses helped you to make an impact at school?

The real benefit in both cases is that the course fits in with what we need to do in school. After studying the Senior Mental Health Advanced Award, I developed a training package for staff around trauma, and was able to give this to staff to support individual pupils. I was able to think more widely around mental health and how to support parents and staff as well as children.

How have the courses helped you to develop as an educational professional?

I have a better skill in regards to reflection. I have also developed my skills in building, analysing and then evaluating projects.

What are the top three things you rolled out within your setting, since completing the courses?

  • A wider range of training for staff
  • Support for parents
  • A wider range of resources for school – children and staff.

Related articles:

Read our blog: Getting to Grips with The Senior Mental Health Lead Role

Watch highlights from Andrew’s sixteen month follow-up with Joanna Wood, course leader:
Improving Mental Health in a Yorkshire Primary School: A Whole-School Case Study

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