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Thurston Community College nominated for TES Schools Award 2021




A Suffolk college which was the first in England to employ a clinical psychologist has been short-listed for a national award.

Thurston Community College is up for a TES Schools Award 2021 in the Wellbeing and Mental Health category.

Kristine Holmes, inclusion co-ordinator at the college, said their key aim was to improve mental health across the school community, access hard to reach groups and support the development of frontline staff's resilience and confidence in supporting students and their families.

Wellnes Chair Yoga. Picture: Thurston Community College. (47839262)
Wellnes Chair Yoga. Picture: Thurston Community College. (47839262)

"We believe wholeheartedly that a school wide approach to supporting good mental health is fundamental to creating a thriving community and driving up standards," she said.

The college was the first school in England to employ a clinical psychologist, an investment they deemed 'fundamental' in tackling pupils' and staff's wellbeing problems.

"By embedding a specialist mental health clinician in the school community enabled long term transformation across our whole school," Kristine said.

A mentoring session at the college. Picture: Thurston Community College. (47839267)
A mentoring session at the college. Picture: Thurston Community College. (47839267)

"The value in this approach meant this clinician empowered our staff and enabled our school community to learn how to take care of their own wellbeing, have easy access to high quality mental health guidance and feel that the care was coordinated around their individual needs within a comfortable context."

She added: "As a school we believe that supporting good mental health is crucial to good teaching and learning.

"We are constantly striving to improve our support and interventions.

"To have our commitment recognised would be a huge acknowledgement during this tricky time for mental health support in schools."

Thurston Community College school sign. Picture: Mark Westley.
Thurston Community College school sign. Picture: Mark Westley.

Thurston College will find out whether they have won their category at an online awards ceremony on June 25.

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