Mental Health in Schools

Tuesday 20th October 2015

This event is now fully booked, but you can follow the action on Twitter: #inclusionmatters15


We are pleased to invite you to join us for our third annual Inclusion Matters conference. This year we are going to the "Heart of the City" - Manchester Town Hall - where our keynote address will take place in the beautiful, iconic Lord Mayor's Parlour.

Inclusion Matters aims to bring together SENCOs, school managers, parents, educational psychologists, local authority officers, colleagues from health and other allied professions and organisations, for a day of reflection and inspiration to support the inclusion of children and young people who face barriers to their learning and participation. Our conference theme is "Mental Health in Schools" and features leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of practice in schools.

Opening address - Kate Fallon, General Secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists

Keynote speaker - Professor Katherine Weare 

Promoting wellbeing and tackling mental health problems in schools: what does the evidence say actually works?

Katherine Weare is Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton, and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter. She is known internationally for her work on mental health, well-being, and social and emotional learning in schools, including mindfulness and compassion. She has published widely in the field, engaging in research projects, reviewing the evidence base on ‘what works’, advising policy makers and developing practical strategies in schools. Her book ‘Developing the Emotionally Literate School’ remains a best seller in the field.

Katherine was a key player developing the UK’s national whole school SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning) programme. She continues to develop and evaluate cutting edge work and is currently working with mindfulness programmes such as the Mindfulness in Schools Project, the Plum Village Community, and Mind and Life to develop and evaluate new programmes and approaches, and is advising agencies such as the EU, WHO, and the UK government on ways forward.  She is on the core development group of an international network, SMiLE, the School Mental Health Leadership Exchange.

As an adoptive parent, Katherine is currently working with key agencies developing new work on mindful parenting, including in connection with attachment and trauma. 

Plenary - Kat Booker and Sharon Gray OBE

"An inclusive vision to support the social, emotional and mental health needs of children and young people in schools"

Sharon and Kat have extensive experience of leadership roles in Ofsted-recognised Outstanding schools that have ensured emotional health and well-being is at the heart of their practice. Sharon is  Team Ofsted Inspector, won the Teacher of the Year Award in 2013 and received an OBE for services to education in 2015. She is also a member of the Mental Health Task Force and contributed to "Future in Mind" . Sharon and Kat will lead a seminar during the morning session. 

For the afternoon plenary, Kat and Sharon will lead an interactive session to draw together our collective learning from the day and help to send us on our way with renewed vision and purpose. Having participated in team visioning work with Inclusive Solutions for over 10 years Kat has seen the impact this has had on inclusivity. Kat works as an associate co-facilitator for Inclusive Solutions and provides graphics to a range of intervention work sessions.


 A   "Why do I go to school? The central role of motivation in education"

‘Motivation’ lies at the conceptual crossroads between the cognitive and affective aspects of learning. It plays a central role in the emotional health and wellbeing of all pupils – and staff. This seminar will look at translating our understanding of this complex topic into practical measures to take at whole school and classroom levels. Attendees will be given chocolate if they score above 60% at the end of session test.

Suitable for: Parents, all school staff, support service personnel – all phases
Presenter: Chris Chesterman, Educational Psychologist, Quest Psychology (

Chris worked as a teacher and deputy head for 10 years. Since then Chris has practiced as an educational psychologist with four local authorities. For the past two years Chris has worked within a social enterprise, Quest Psychology.

B   "An introduction to 'No Worries' - a group programme for reducing anxiety based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles 

A brief introduction to this practical and interactive new resource.  The workshop style programme focuses on developing strategies for life including relaxation skills, cognitive reframing and encouraging courageous behaviour.

Suitable for: those working with children of all ages from 7 years, young people and/or parents
Presenter: Sheri Wright, Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist, Shropshire Educational Psychology Service

Sheri is co-author of “No Worries”, of which there is a secondary and primary version.  It has also been adapted for use with parents within Children’s Centres.

C   "My needs; Our needs; Your needs"

A case study exploring ways in which one school chose to develop self-esteem, autonomy and self awareness through a whole school nurturing approach and a sense of belonging. An exploration of how embedding nurture group practices and approaches into whole school practices can be the starting point for children developing the ability to look beyond their own needs and begin to think about others.

Suitable for: Primary phase teachers, Teaching Assistants, senior leaders, SENCOs
Presenters: Kat Booker, SEN Education Consultant (Meet The Need Ltd) and Sharon Gray OBE, Education Consultant (Wholehearted Learning)

Kat has worked at all levels (Teaching Assistant to Local Authority Outreach Support) in mainstream and specialist schools for Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties. She is passionate about the role of nurture provision in providing inclusive support for children. Sharon Gray has over 24 years' experience working in education including 18 years as a Headteacher, with leadership experience in special schools for children and young people experiencing severe social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Sharon has received an OBE for her services to education.

D   "Why do I go to school? The central role of motivation in education

Full details as outlined above (Seminar A)

E   "Emotional health for adults - Looking after ourselves"

This seminar will focus on the importance of paying attention to their own emotional health, for adults working with children. This interactive, practical  seminar will provide an opportunity for participants to develop an awareness of the signs and symptoms of stress; to understand the contribution of lifestyle to maintaining emotional health and well-being and to understand the principles of effective time management.

Suitable for: all conference delegates
Presenter: Sheri Wright, Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist, Shropshire Educational Psychology Service

Sheri has been counselling education employees under stress for almost 25 years through a commissioning arrangement with a local authority occupational health department. She therefore knows only too well how important it is for all of us to pay attention to looking after ourselves.

F   Attachment and trauma: Understanding and supporting emotional needs

Neuroscientific findings suggest that trauma impacts on the brain and on physical, social and emotional development. This seminar explores attachment and trauma-related issues and will consider how we can support children to develop trusting relationships and manage their feelings and behaviour.

Suitable for: all conference delegates
Presenter: Jo Lyons, Educational Psychologist, Rochdale Educational Psychology Service

Jo worked as a teacher and deputy head before trainign as an educational psychologist. She has a particular interest in working collaboratively within local schools' networks regarding children in care and in developing nurture groups. She is an adoptive parent and draws on her practical knowledge and experiences.


Outline programme 

9.00                            Arrival and registration

9.15                            Morning coffee and networking

10.00                          Opening address: Kate Fallon, General Secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists

10.15 - 11.15              Keynote speaker: Professor Katherine Weare

11.20 - 12.45              Morning seminars: A, B, C

12. 45 - 1.45               Lunch and Marketplace

1. 45 - 2.45                 Afternoon seminars: D, E, F

2.45 - 3.30                  Plenary: Sharon Gray and Kat Booker

3.30 - 4.00                  Afternoon tea and Marketplace



Subscription schools: £135
Non-subscription schools and other organisation: £150
Parent Carer Forum: Price on application


How to book

Click on the RSVP link below (scroll to end of page). You will receive a confirmation email and a link to an online booking form. You will need to complete the online booking form to secure your place. If you have problems with the links please contact Fiona or May via email: [email protected]


October 20, 2015 at 9:30am - 4pm
Manchester Town Hall
Albert Square
Manchester M2 5DB
United Kingdom
Google map and directions
Fiona Hanratty and May Tipler-Noble ·

Will you come?