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Mental Health Training Competency Framework for School Staff

Research tells us that there is a clear link between poor mental health and academic achievement. Whilst we acknowledge reasons for mental health issues vary greatly, often spilling outside of the school environment, it is, however, that everyone working within a school has a basic understanding of what mental health is and has the confidence to recognise and respond to common issues. This will help ensure that children and young people are equipped with the skills and strategies to manage their mental health and emotional wellbeing, including early access to any additional help they need.

This guidance and assessment framework has been developed by a range of agencies including Cambridgeshire County Council, local training providers and educational establishments. We know that the training landscape in relation to Mental Health and resilience can be tricky, therefore this resource aims to simplify the complex picture of mental health training available through a tiered and structured approach to training within the school or college environment to ensure the whole school community is equipped with the knowledge and skills to support young peoples’ mental health, as well as their own.

We do not intend for educational staff to diagnose or treat mental health problems, but instead support their pupils by identifying issues, offering low-level support strategies, knowing when and where to escalate concerns and adapting existing ways of working. 

You can download a copy of the competency framework here.

How to Use the Framework

This framework offers a clear structure which you may wish to adopt to aid the decision-making process when thinking about the training needs of your school community. There are 3 stages allowing for different depths of knowledge and training for different roles within the school. It offers some considerations of how to identify what training is needed and a list of recommended competencies needed within each stage.

To gain access to the framework by way of a staff survey you can share with colleagues in your school, please contact

You will then have the opportunity to see the results and plan your training needs accordingly.  We also ask you to submit a summary form and downloaded responses so that we can use the information to identify local needs and review provision.


This resource is reliant on information provided to us by organisations and partners at the time of writing, therefore the level of detail and accuracy varies across services and some may be missed. We recommend visiting the webpage of a service directly should you require further information.