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Cotham School

Mental health and Wellbeing

Pastoral Care 

At Cotham School we have a highly skilled and competent pastoral team who provide support for young people. We have a range of pastoral interventions available for students through our mentoring and counselling provision as well as other opportunities to discuss Mental Health and Wellbeing through curriculum opportunities. For more information about the support on offer, please have a look at the Mental Health and Wellbeing Update below. 

Students at Cotham have a tutor and tutor group who they see every day and who form their immediate family in school. Each year group has a dedicated Learning Coordinator whose role is to coordinate the activities of the year group, support the tutor team and take responsibility for the welfare of their year group.

As well as supporting our students, we are also keen to support parents and carers who would like advice about aspects of support for their child. Our pastoral and safeguarding team can offer support to parents/ carers where there are concerns around things such as behaviour, alcohol or drugs use, self-esteem and confidence, friendships and many other areas. There is also a dedicated section in the weekly Parent Bulletin around the safety and wellbeing of our students. This includes information about upcoming events and courses for parents, signposting to organisations and resources and general advice and tips so be sure to take a look!

If you do have any concerns about your child's experience of school, please contact the relevant pastoral member of the team who will support you. Alternatively if it is a safeguarding matter then please alert a member of the safeguarding team by emailing

Year 7 - Miss L Svitska

Year 8 - Mr T Lawrence

Year 9 - Mr D  Farmer

Year 10 - Mrs L Arnold

Year 11 - Miss S Wellington

Post 16 - Miss M Beaver 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Update

Follow this link for a comprehensive overview of the pastoral support available to students and staff at Cotham School. 

Signposting for Parents 

All children need support at one time or another, this could be because of issues around mental health and wellbeing, exam pressure, worries around friendships etc. There are many websites that offer support to parents/carers, please take a look at the ones we have included below. 

  • Off The Record: Free, self-referral counselling service for young people age, who are experiencing low mood, depression, anxiety, phobias, self-harm, eating problems and/or anger. Young people can call, email or text. Also offer parent support groups and sessions. Website: 
  • Happy Maps  - A website for parents and carers.  Reliable and up-to-date resources on emotional health for your children. 
  • Young Minds - Offer confidential online and telephone information and support for anyone worried about the emotional, behaviour, or mental health of a child/young person up to 25 years of age, including ADHD, Autism and Aspergers. Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544   Website: 
  • Bristol Parenting Menu - They have courses for parents of teenagers, children with challenging behaviour and teenagers with aggressive or abusive behaviour or who’ve been involved in the criminal justice system. Parenting courses currently running in Bristol -
  • Coping with self-harm: A FREE Guide for Parents and Carers.
  • How to Grow a Grown Up: Preparing Your Teen for the Real World - a book by Dr Dominique Thompson.
  • Blame My Brain: the Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed (written for teenagers, but highly recommended for parents). 

General advice for parents 

Parenting teenagers can be challenging and many parents find it hard to adapt to changes in their child's behaviour as they grow up. Here you'll find lots of practical advice on how to deal with common teen issues. 

Behaviour: Behaviour | Relate

Family issues: Family issues | Relate

Communicating with teens: Communicating with teens | Relate

Alcohol and drugs: Alcohol and drugs | Relate

Sex and relationships: Sex and relationships | Relate

Mental Health: Mental health | Relate

School and work: School and work | Relate

Signposting for Students: 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Students – from Dr Tina Rae

Dr Tina Tae (Child Psychologist) has produced a series of talks for young people on different aspects of mental health and wellbeing and these are freely available on her YouTube channel. They include topics such as:

  • Body image
  • Healthy relationships
  • Eating disorders
  • Healthy body - healthy mind
  • Staying safe online
  • Mindfulness
  • Managing exam stress
  • … and more

To follow her channel and watch the videos, please follow this link: Dr Tina Rae - Wellbeing for Teens

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency Advice

Check product instructions as some head lice products can ignite your hair if near a naked flame.

Parents, caregivers and people with head lice are being reminded to always read product instructions before applying head lice removal products. Some of these products have the potential to ignite when in the presence of an open flame – such as when lighting cigarettes.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a Drug Safety Alert advising pharmacists to tell people about the risk of fires when they discuss options to treat head lice.

With some head lice removal products easily accessible at supermarkets and without a pharmacist’s guiding hand, users need to be aware of the importance of reading the instructions that come with all treatments to make sure they are used safely and correctly.

Speak with a pharmacist to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option. Alternatively see NHS Choices page on Head lice and nits and the Head lice Clinical Knowledge Summary from NICE for more information on options for eradication.

Dr Sarah Branch, Deputy Director of MHRA’s Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines (VRMM) Division said:

It’s important parents and carers know always to keep away from a naked flame, including cigarettes, when using these head lice treatments. People can continue to use these head lice removal products safely – like all medical products, a simple check of the instructions will ensure safe, easy and effective use.

Patient safety is our highest priority and we encourage people to report any incidents involving head lice removal products to MHRA using our Yellow Card Scheme.

  • A range of products, which can include products like Hedrin, Full Marks, and Nyda, are used for the eradication of head lice infestations.
  • 10 cases of serious burns associated with the use of head lice removal products have been reported to our Yellow Card Scheme since 2007.
  • Some products for the removal of head lice can ignite when on the hair and cause serious harm in the presence of an open flame or other source of ignition such as when lighting cigarettes.
  • Instructions for use should always be followed, including warnings to keep hair away from naked flame when using these products.
  • Pharmacists are encouraged to help the person with head lice and/or their parents or caregivers to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option (see NHS Choices page on Head lice and nits and the Head lice Clinical Knowledge Summary from NICE for more information on options for eradication)

Infectious Diseases

Click here to read some guidance on managing cases of infectious diseases in schools and other childcare settings

P16 Wellbeing Bulletin