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Educating the ‘whole child’

“It is clear that we have reached the limits of using data alone as a proxy for educational quality.” 
Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills writes in an opinion piece for Schools Week (January 2019). “Inspection should capture the things that no data measure can, no matter how well constructed. We need to look at how a school has achieved results, not just take them at face value, and at the things that aren’t and often can’t be measured.”
At the beginning of the school year, Ofsted’s Education Inspection framework (EIF) came into effect, encouraging nurseries, schools and colleges to implement a holistic approach to culture, putting emphasis on the wellbeing of teachers and pupils – not on data and statistics. 
The shift in focus details the importance of ambitious curriculums that give all learners the knowledge they need to succeed in life, not just in the classroom, as well as environments that cultivate positive relationships between learners and staff, allowing students to concentrate on learning and teachers on teaching. Significantly, it states educating the ‘whole child’ and the influence education settings can have on young peoples’ lives. The new EIF is inclusive and it’s time.

What is the ‘whole child’ and a ‘whole school approach?’
Educating the ‘whole child’ means not only teaching the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in classes, but helping each individual to develop their confidence, resilience, and independence. It’s ensuring the wellbeing of the person through a framework that supports and enriches, recognising when a child or teacher may be struggling or facing issues, and equipping the whole school, from teachers to governors with the knowledge and toolkits to help. 
Fortis Therapy and Training are the creators of ‘Tribe’, a programme of wellbeing support that successfully engages all within the learning Speaker at Fortis Therapy educating childrenenvironment, leading to a true, positive culture change. Each package of support is bespoke to the school’s requirements, which is determined following thorough consultations. It incorporates a large range of training, coaching, mediation, reflective practice, and creative therapeutic interventions and engagement tools with a fully qualified, experienced Fortis Therapist. 
Alexis Powell-Howard is a Psychotherapist and the Managing Director of the multi award winning Fortis Therapy and Training. She says: “It is imperative that we help children and young people to find their Tribe and to thrive in school as well as supporting teachers in their personal and professional lives.  Ofsted are right, that these improvements are notoriously difficult to measure on a matrix or graph, but there are ways of capturing the difference a whole school approach makes.  We cannot underestimate the resilience this new focus will bring for our children into adulthood too.”   
Fortis Therapy and Training are multi-national award-winning providers of mental health and emotional wellbeing support working across the UK. For more information, call 01472 241794, email enquiries@fortistherapy.co.uk, or visit fortistherapy.co.uk


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