Deputy Headteacher at Harrogate Grammar School Tim Milburn has been awarded a Masters in Leadership of School Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Mr Milburn had been working towards the qualification with Leeds Beckett University and successfully completed it last month after figures revealed that 16% of mental health conditions are attributable to 10-19 year old’s.

The course, which is the first of its kind in the country, has given both Tim and Harrogate Grammar School a basis to further their work on mental health and wellbeing and adds to the silver award the school were awarded by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools in 2020.

Tim Milburn said:

“This has been a great experience and it has given me the understanding and confidence to effectively lead whole mental health within school using the latest research and evidence.

“The content of the course as well as the modules and assignments have also enabled me to thoroughly, critically and analytically adopt best practise so that the mental health and wellbeing of both staff and students is supported and strengthened.”

Tim spoke about the challenge of taking on a Masters whilst also working full time and during a pandemic:

“Managing the workload of a Masters degree, whilst working full time, and during a pandemic has been challenging at times. For example, I began my dissertation as the school gates were closing in March 2020 resulting in me having to completely redesign my research project, not knowing when we would see our students again!

“However, I was able to use the period of school closure to look at how technology can be utilised to support our young people with their mental health and wellbeing, a real and practical project that benefitted our students in the short term but has the potential to reach more students in the future.”

Having now completed this qualification, Tim is keen to see the good work at Harrogate Grammar School continue and develop, looking immediately at how staff and students are supported upon their return to school in March.

Working within the Red Kite Learning Trust (RKLT), which serves over 8000 students in both Harrogate and Leeds, also gives Tim and opportunity to affect change beyond his own school:

“I have been very fortunate that HGS and RKLT have supported me to complete this course and I am really looking forward to paying back that investment by working with colleagues across the Trust to continue the important work on mental health and wellbeing.”

Neil Renton, Headteacher at Harrogate Grammar School, said:

“Working with the Carnegie Centre of Excellence and the in-depth research on the Leadership of School Mental Health MA, has given real rigour to Mr Milburn’s pioneering work. We are incredibly proud of the progress that this work has enabled us to make as a school and we are also proud of Mr Milburn’s accreditation at Masters level – a real credit to his commitment and perseverance.”

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