Teachers from 10 schools in Barking and Dagenham have been congratulated for their role in an innovative pilot to help improve how schools support children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs at an event in Parliament today.

At the launch of the results today, teachers from William Bellamy school in Dagenham presented to an audience of fellow teachers, education experts and MPs about their experience on the pilot.

SEMH needs like low self-esteem and difficulty listening in class can underlie poor behaviour in the classroom. Helping identify and address them can be key to improving pupil’s behaviour and helping them learn.

The pilot involved teachers using a tool called the Boxall Profile to help learn and understand more about their pupils’ needs and wellbeing. Usually, the Boxall Profile is only used when teachers see a pupil with behaviour that is affecting their learning, but in this pilot teachers took the time to assess all their pupils in their class.

This helped teachers understand all their pupils better and the pilot’s results showed that this helped improve children’s wellbeing. 23% more children who received support from their school had no apparent SEMH difficulties compared to the start of the pilot.

Opening the event in Parliament today, local MP Jon Cruddas praised the school saying:

“It’s a pleasure to be here and see first hand the results of the fantastic work the 10 schools in Barking and Dagenham have carried out.”

“Early intervention plays such an important part in improving the life chances of children with social and emotional difficulties, so it is key that these needs are picked up at an early age and supported just how these schools have demonstrated.”

Kevin Kibble, chief executive of nurtureuk, the charity which helped schools run the pilot said:

“Removing barriers to learning is key to a fair school system where every child can achieve their potential.”

“We’ve been really lucky to work with such fantastic teachers who are willing to try new methods to help their pupils succeed. Without them, this pilot would not have been possible and children would not be benefiting”