Arrow ImageAcute, PICU and Rapid Response

Posted on Nov 22 2021 by Fiona Bailey

The LightBulb programme, developed to help improve mental health issues among schoolchildren, has been featured in a top special educational needs magazine.

The double-page spread in SEN Magazine was written by St Andrew's College headteacher Cheryl Smith and gave a clear insight into what the programme is and how it can improve the lives of children of all ages.

SEN Magazine is the UK's leading journal for Special Educational Needs and features thought-provoking articles written by specialists in the field.

Cheryl, who has worked in mental health for more than 20 years, explained how she came up with the idea of the programme and why she felt it was so important. 

She wrote: "As a team, we wanted to find a way to pinpoint young people and to help equip schools with the skills they need to be resilient and to seek help about mental health issues, hopefully reducing the distress they experience and positively impacting the outcomes they experience,” she says.

“We believe early intervention is essential and can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of those children who are experiencing mental health issues.”

Together, with friend and colleague Peter Rainford, they developed LightBulb which provides schools that sign up with a whole range of support, including five hours of mental health awareness and training for all school staff and wellbeing resources and activities for teachers and educational professionals.

“LightBulb is not just about helping children, parents and teachers to recognise the signs early on, it’s also about creating a culture of positive mental health which is driven by school leaders and embedded in practice,” Cheryl told the magazine. 

“We firmly believe that this approach could significantly reduce the number of children who go on to develop more complex mental health problems, but will also encourage their development of resilience, coping skills and self-help skills which are vital for overall development.”

The programme is based around an outcomes wheel which puts the school at the centre, surrounded by four sections.

They are ‘Quality of Education’, ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’, ‘Personal Development’ and ‘Leadership and Management’ in line with the Ofsted school inspection framework.

For more information about LightBulb, click here or email