Richard is the course leader on the Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate course for those beginning their role as a school based Senior Mental Health Lead. He is an Educational Psychologist who has worked across all types of school provision including; mainstream, nursery, colleges, PRUs, and specialist provisions in order to meet the needs of children, families, and school professionals. Richard also has experience of working in a multi professional team of social workers, CAMHS professionals, voluntary and private sector professionals to deliver nationally recognised excellent support for families with adopted children and young people. He has also undertaken individual and family therapeutic work with children and families. He led a special interest group resulting in the implementation of more robust outcome measures. Richard values working collaboratively with school staff to analyse problems and move towards solutions at an individual, group and systems level.
Prior to working as an EP, Richard worked in school settings as a teacher and then as an Emotional Mental Health Coordinator, a role that is similar to the Senior Mental Health Lead role.
His previous qualifications and experience include a degree in Psychology and Counselling, School Centred Initial Teacher Training and teaching. He completed the Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology at the Tavistock and Portman Trust in 2013. As well as being course leader Richard also trains the next generation of Educational Psychologists at the renown centre of mental health excellence – the Tavistock and Portman Trust.
If you are new to or aspiring to the Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) role, or if you’ve had little training, this DfE quality assured course will ensure you become confident, knowledgeable and ready to lead on Wellbeing and Mental Health in your setting. For those with experience or prior training in mental health leadership, click here for our Advanced Award or here for our general SMHL training guidance.
At Real Training, our Educational Psychologists (EPs) have a long history of providing training (in-person and online) for education staff development.
We provide a day and a half of interactive training with an EP and a small group of other SMHLs, to provide you with the knowledge, skills and tools to take up the SMHL role. Collaborate with this network of SMHLs in education settings across the country, share resources and plans, so that you develop your expertise with those in similar settings, rather than being grouped by geography.
Be guided in-person by an EP, and engage with the online course for further support, so that you become an effective and confident SMHL, solving problems like; how to develop a shared understanding among key stakeholders, taking your setting with you on the journey to make it mentally healthy.
You will be supported to develop a Plan for Change that is reviewed by an EP, enabling the first steps to be taken to implement whole-school approaches to improve mental health support in your school or college community.
During the course, SMHLs will be supported to understand the context, complexity and interactional nature of SEMH, and to apply theory to practice. You will:
The benefits to your educational setting include:
Live courses are running throughout the year. Please book now choosing either the face to face in Greenwich or Campus Live (online live training) options. Dates and times stated are GMT.
Interested in a SOLD OUT date? Email us and we’ll place you on our waiting list.
Key dates for our next June 2022 cohort:
Key dates for our first September 2022 cohort:
Key dates for our second September 2022 cohort:
There is school-based work to complete between the events and tutor-supported work to complete your ‘Plan for Change’. You will be able to submit this plan for assessment a few weeks following the second date.
All of the cohorts above are eligible for DfE funding grants. Non-funded place are also available for schools and individuals that are not eligible for this funding.
Please note: as it takes time to process your application and payment, we strongly recommend registering as soon as possible, so that you don’t miss the next course.
Leadership and impact monitoring
Targeted support and appropriate referrals
Staff and setting ethos development
Student and families engagement
There are 11 hours of training split over two days and in addition around 4 hours of coaching and tutoring available between you and your trainer, across the duration of the Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate course.
You have the choice of two delivery methods:
Initially dates for these courses will be set for delivery in Greenwich, London. We are planning for more venues to be made available across England.
The first course will be delivered in January (for exact dates, please see above, under “When does the course start?”). Further dates throughout the year will be made available depending on demand.
To achieve the certificate you need to attend and engage with the 11 hours of interactive training. You also need to successfully complete a ‘Plan for Change’. You will be able to contact your tutor as the plan is developed before submitting it for feedback. We encourage you to submit your plan in time for you to receive individual feedback to guide improvements to your plan. You will also be able to discuss the development of your plans with your peers online and your local network. The ‘Plan for Change’ will include activities to improve mental health support and well being in your setting and ways to embed and sustain improvements. Your tutor trainer will sign off your ‘Plan for Change’.
After completing the Certificate course you will benefit from 12 months further access to online support forums as you implement your ‘Plan for Change’.
Dr Richard Lewis (Course leader, Real Group Senior Educational Psychologist, Academic and Professional Lead, and Trainer/Tutor)
Jalak Patel (Real Group Senior Educational Psychologist and Trainer /Tutor)
Dr Sue Sheppard (Real Group Senior Educational Psychologist and Trainer/Tutor)
Dr Mark Turner (Real Group Co-founder, Managing Director, Educational Psychologist and Trainer / Tutor)
Dr Siobhan Mellor (Real Group Director, Educational Psychologist and Trainer / Tutor)
Dr Joanna Wood (Real Group Senior Educational Psychologist and Trainer/Tutor)
Dr Hannah Fairall (Real Group Educational Psychologist and Trainer/Tutor)
Dr Brigid O’Leary (Educational Psychologist and Tutor)
Dr Anne-Marie Baverstock (Educational Psychologist)
This Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate is designed for new-to-role, or aspiring, Senior Mental Health Leaders, who have not previously completed senior mental health leadership training.
You will need to be working in a UK or international education setting, embedding learning through practice, so you will need the support of the Headteacher/Head of Centre.
This course is relevant to educators in all phases of education, from primary to further education colleges, special and alternative provision schools.
To check your setting’s eligibility for the grant funding, please visit this site, and click the link to the government funding terms and conditions.
This course costs £995 plus VAT. Schools are able to reclaim the VAT paid.
Grant funding may be available if you work in a school or college in England. The latest information about this grant funding is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/senior-mental-health-lead-training. We also have our own guide to applying for funding here. Funding is now confirmed for eligible schools up until the end of March 2023 and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
We can confirm that this course has achieved quality-assured status from the DfE, and will be eligible for grant funding according to the process outlined by the DfE.
You will have 3 weeks to upload evidence of having booked our DfE quality-assured course, so the DfE can authorise your grant payment. You will need the relevant DfE course code (see below).
Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate (Face to face – in person)
Reference number: SMHL037
RE: Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate (Face to face – online)
Reference number: SMHL038
If you do not receive an email, you can contact the DfE on MentalHealth.LeadTraining@education.gov.uk. Grant payments are then made once the evidence has been reviewed and approved.
To ensure grants do not go unclaimed, grants will be released to applicants on the waiting list if you do not complete this final stage of your application within 3 weeks from being asked to do so.
The grant funding amount totals up to £1,200 per setting. The latest DfE information will be available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/senior-mental-health-lead-training. In order to apply for the funding, visit this page and following the links to the online form.
You can still book a place on the course if you work in an international school or setting which is not eligible for grant funding assuming you meet the eligibility criteria and you or your school funds the cost of the course.
The duration of the Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate course is four to six months.
Many Senior Mental Health Lead courses offered by other providers are short courses. At Real Training, we believe that learning should be practice-led and completed over a period of time to allow us to support you whilst you complete your ‘Plan for Change’. This also helps ensure long-term retention and maximum impact. Therefore you can take up to 6 months to complete our Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate, and you will be making a difference in your setting straight away. We are happy to confirm that the DfE has approved this course duration.
We do understand, however, that circumstances can arise that could prevent the course from being completed in this time period. If this is the case, a single extension can be arranged in conjunction with the admin team and your tutor.