‘Giving all children and young people in South Tees the necessary support to build resilience to achieve good emotional health’

HeadStart was introduced in Middlesbrough in 2013 as a Big Lottery funded project. Additional funding was given by Future in Mind, education, and public health.

HeadStart aims to:

  • support young people aged 0 to 19 to cope in better in difficult circumstances, and do well in school and in life
  • build resilience in young people to stop common mental health problems
  • learn from different approaches, and contribute understanding to an evidence base for prevention and early intervention
  • develop an early intervention and prevention model to provide support in school, at home, in the community, and virtually
  • develop a co-production model with children and their families

HeadStart is based on the Academic Resilience Approach to support children and young people to achieve good educational outcomes in spite of adversity.

For schools, promoting it involves detailed planning and practice involving the whole school community to help vulnerable young people do better than their circumstances might have predicted.

The Academic Resilience Approach helps to empower schools to build and improve their pupils’ emotional resilience, in order to:

  • reduce the academic differences for the most disadvantaged young people
  • improve attendance
  • prevent mental health problems escalating
  • support young people to access appropriate help early

Using the Academic Resilience Approach, we can help to embed evidence-based approaches across three key areas:

  • people – from the pupils and parents to the whole staff group, even the caretakers
  • strategy and leadership including governance, policy, senior leadership
  • systems and structure including information management, behaviour systems, support structures, etc.

More information for schools, professionals, parents, and children and young people is available on the HeadStart website or you can contact a member of the HeadStart team on 01642 728079.