We need to lift the education system’s capability and capacity.
The initial responses to the inquiries from governments signal that there is appetite for substantive reform, and this should include strengthening how we build mentally healthy schools.
The weight of history and Urbis’ own experience evaluating strategic reform programs indicates they succeed where there is vision, commitment and accountability.
Having the requisite vision requires a systemic, rather than piecemeal or portfolio-based approach to the issues. This will require our education systems to coordinate and collaborate with the mental health systems and family support services to deliver shared outcomes at the strategic and community levels.
We need to back this joined-up vision in through commitment to a robust and appropriately resourced implementation strategy. We need to lift the education system’s capability (building organisational and workforce skills) and capacity (more resources targeted to mental health).
Furthermore, we need to ensure accountability for effective system governance enabled by access to system performance data. This means capturing and making visible the data to allow schools, regions, and systems to make the best decisions, and a commitment to evaluating the delivery and impact of our efforts.