A history of Emotionally Friendly Settings
Emotionally Friendly Schools was developed following consultation with schools regarding what they would find helpful in supporting them to promote positive wellbeing and respond effectively to mental health needs.
Schools were asking for a resource that collated evidence-based interventions and information regarding ‘what works’ for emotional wellbeing and mental health and so the EFS manual was born - developed by a team of educational psychologists working in partnership with school staff. In March 2015, the first edition of EFS manual was launched at the first annual EFS conference and a process was established to support schools to implement the strategies from the manual to meet the individual needs of their school through whole school awareness training and an action planning meeting.
EFS has continued to develop in collaboration with educational settings which has led to a Secondary edition of the EFS manual.
In 2019, Emotionally Friendly Schools transformed and became Emotionally Friendly Settings. This was an acknowledgement that the reach of the work was now going beyond just school settings. An Early Years and Post 16 edition are currently in development and due for launch in 2020
When we began delivering EFS, schools were keen to have some form of accreditation process that celebrated what they were doing whilst also providing guidance for what they should do next. In response to this, we developed the EFS accreditation through collating guidance and policy documents that outline quality standards for schools in relation to mental health and aligned these with the EFS framework.
EFS continues to grow and we are excited to see where the future will take us.
a flexible, whole setting approach to improving children and young people's mental health and emotional well-being