Emotional Wellbeing v. Academic Learning

We read much about the increase in mental health issues at the moment.  I am passionate in believing that a young person’s emotional wellbeing is vital in enabling them to maintain good mental health.  I also believe that attention to emotional wellbeing enables young people to be in a good place so that they are ready and able to learn.  So I was very pleased to read an article in the TES entitled ‘Wellbeing and good mental health should be seen as equally as important as academic success’ by Jan Dubiel on 12th May 2016.  Jan Dubiel is National Development Manager at Early Excellence Centre for Inspirational Learning.  Here is the link to the article.

Emotional wellbeing and good mental health are as important as academic achievement:

She says “Children are powerful and competent learners, who learn best when they are in an environment that connects with their interests, and with adults who value their ideas and engage with their thinking.” And says “Better understanding of the internationally renowned Leuven scales for wellbeing within schools would be a good starting point ……………..At Early Excellence, we would go further and suggest that wellbeing and good mental health should be seen as equally as important as academic success.”

(The Leuven scales uses tools to focus on two areas – children’s wellbeing and involvement).

The development of children’s emotional wellbeing in early years is, I believe, paramount to enabling them to access learning and reach their potential.  And the importance given to maintaining this through a child’s education is crucial to ensure good mental health.  I hope that the Government will embrace this and include emotional wellbeing and good mental health monitoring in schools and early years settings within the Life Chances strategy with a similar emphasis to academic achievement and attainment.  Tthis might in time reduce parental focus which has been clearly directed on academic attainment alone via literacy and numeracy testing, and does not seem to be helping our children.




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