An interview with Kara Satterley – Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate

A headshot of KaraKara Satterley is Deputy Headteacher and Senior Mental Health Lead at Blean Primary School, an OFSTED outstanding school based in Canterbury. She has recently completed her senior mental health leadership certificate with Real Training and shared her experience of SMHL training and how it has made a difference in her school.

What made you choose the Real Training senior mental health lead course over other options?

The online approach with live sessions, the quality of tutoring, and the time to put actions into place and learn as you go along were the main things that attracted me to this course. The fact that everything could be completed online supported both my leadership commitments and my work-life balance.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

My experience was excellent. Communication was strong from the get-go and staff were really supportive, particularly when I needed to move cohorts. The training was thorough, relevant and detailed and my tutor was incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. I also really enjoyed the live sessions; it was so helpful to discuss things with other delegates and learn from others. The online approach provided the flexibility required for me to manage my other leadership roles in school, whilst being able to develop my skills as a new SMHL. The pacing between sessions was helpful, as this enabled time to put actions into place and then reflect and share findings with other delegates.

How has the SMHL course helped make an impact at school?

The course helped to embed the SMHL role in school, with the output being a clear action plan to support pupils. This has fed into our whole-school plan for this year. Mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront of all we do and underpins so many of our other changes at school.
We have recently achieved the WAS award (Wellbeing Award for Schools) and completing the course went a long way to help us change our practice, strengthen our whole-school approach and gather the evidence required to put together a successful submission.

How has the course helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with your new knowledge/skills in the future?

I feel more confident leading mental health and wellbeing at school at a strategic level. Decisions have informed the school plan and are underpinned by research. We have formed a team with distinct roles and responsibilities to support mental health and wellbeing across the school to support our staff, pupils and families.

Lastly, what are the top three things you were looking to do within your setting, since completing senior mental health lead training? 

  • Achieve wellbeing award (WAS award)
  • Form a team to support mental health and wellbeing to support pupils, staff and families
  • Use knowledge to have dedicated sections of the school plan to ensure strategic change linked to improving mental health and wellbeing

What do you think?


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