Creating Mental Wealth

A virtual conference promoting emotional well-being in schools


Happened on the 26 November 2020 – online


Keynote: Professor Barry Carpenter, CBE, OBE, PhD
Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University.
Watch the video


9.00am Welcome and introductions to the day.

9.15am – 10.15am Professor Barry Carpenter CBE OBE – ‘Creating Mental Wealth: Building emotional resilience.’

10.20am – 10.50am Chris Barson – ‘Autism and Wellbeing: Protecting and Promoting Good Mental Health on The Spectrum’.

10.50am – 11.10am Coffee & virtual networking.

11.10am – 11.40am Claire Owens – ‘Recovery, Reconnection and Resilience’

11.45am – 12.15pm Richard Hirstwood – ‘Sensory approaches to build emotional resilience’.

12.15pm – 12.45pm Lunch & virtual networking

12.45pm – 1.00pm Breakout Room Discussion

1.00pm – 1.30pm Carol Allen – ‘Post Pandemic Learning: Supporting the anxious learner?’

1.35pm – 2.05pm Nick Sheffield – ‘Mental Health and well-being: Being playful enough to play’.

2.10pm – 3.00pm Questions and Answers Panel Discussion with Professor Barry Carpenter, Chris Barson, Richard Hirstwood, Carol Allen, Nick Sheffield, Claire Owens and Katie Fielding.

3.00pm Close of day: thank you and goodbye!

Why should I attend?

You will leave the Creating Mental Wealth Conference with a more in-depth knowledge of current issues in SEMH; The Recovery Curriculum; developing a curriculum framework around emotional well-being; pedagogy to facilitate the development of emotional resilience; the impact of anxiety/SEMH on learning; developing student voice; the width of the well-being gap specifically for pupils with autism as well as strategies to embed SEMH related learning within the curriculum.

Who should attend?

This will be appropriate for classroom practitioners from special schools and colleges, mainstream settings with specialist SEN provision and early years settings, who are working with pupils with Autism, PMLD/ CLDD.

Digital Conference Pack

As this is a virtual conference, we have a Digital Conference Pack!


Access to the learning resources within this will be available for 48 hours after the conference. This will include any resources shared/signposted during the sessions (i.e. during Zoom chat) will be available to download as a pdf after the session.


The digital conference pack will also include the following video presentations:

  • Katie Fielding – An update on Kingsbury Primary School’ Recovery Curriculum
  • Professor Barry Carpenter’s podcast on the Recovery Curriculum
  • ‘The Recovery Curriculum’ – Barry and Matthew Carpenter
  • Bev Cockbill: ‘Happiness Boxes’ plus PDF
  • Katie Fielding: ‘Our Rainbow Experience – supporting our Kingsbury family in their recovery journey’



Professor Barry Carpenter CBE OBE – Creating Mental Wealth: Building emotional resilience 

In his capacity as Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University, Barry Carpenter CBE OBE shares his knowledge, experience and solutions for the challenging crisis schools currently face in his keynote ‘Creating Mental Wealth’.

Mental Health is the most pervasive and co-occurring of all complex needs in children internationally. The British Medical Association estimate that 2 in 10 of all young people experience some form of mental ill health during adolescence. In the realms of Autism this is much higher at around 60% of all ASD young people during adolescence.

During the pandemic there have been reported increases of up to 8.1% in mental health issues. New phenomena are also occurring, with spikes in self harm and eating disorders.

In children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities there are at least two or three times as many young people with some form of mental health need. The new Code of Practice on SEND has given an official focus for schools on Mental Health with the creation of the designated area of Social, Emotional and Mental Health.

How do schools keep their children emotionally strong at this challenging time? The Recovery Curriculum, (written by Professor Carpenter, with his son Matthew, a School Principal,) offers a framework around emotional well-being, and compassionate leadership.

This presentation will discuss strategies and approaches for building emotional resilience in children for now and the future.


Chris BarsonAutism and Wellbeing: Protecting and Promoting ‘Whole School Mental Health’ on The Spectrum

The UK feels on the edge of a mental health crisis in young people. Teachers and school staff are not immune to poor mental health either. The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t helped. This session, which is informed by listening to students, staff and parents, research and good practice, will look at a ‘Whole School Mental Health’ for autism.


  • A ‘Whole School’ Model for Mental Health in Autism
  • Your mental health counts!
  • The importance of relationships
  • Awareness and understanding
  • Positive approaches to autism


Carol Allen Post Pandemic Learning: Supporting the anxious learner?    

An anxious pupil is one not ready, or able, to engage in effective learning.  This may present in many forms which masks the underlying anxiety such as challenging behaviour. In this session, we will examine the sensory issues and physiological barriers to learning that may inhibit the anxious pupil.

Carol will explore some of the outcomes created by the most recent lockdown and move to remote learning.  She suggests a range of effective strategies and practical ideas to reassure, support and engage these pupils.


Richard Hirstwood Sensory approaches to build emotional resilience

Richard explores how sensory strategies can support pupils to build emotional resilience.  Sensory diversions and adaptations enable the practitioner to create an environment which:

  • Can respond to a pupil’s behaviour/communication to maintain engagement
  • Creates the opportunity to develop self-regulation skills
  • Supports pupils’ exploration of what ‘relaxation’ and ‘self-calming’ means to them and how to achieve it


Claire Owens – ‘Recovery, Reconnection and Resilience’

In response to the pandemic of COVID-19, Claire wrote a ‘Reintegration Curriculum’ based around the complex needs of their learners and Barry and Matthew Carpenter’s ‘Recovery Curriculum’ construct of losses and levers.

Find out more about how this work has enabled Churchward School to launch their reintegration programme as a central part of their work supporting some of their most challenged young people to successfully reintegrate into an educational environment.  Learn about how the amazing resilience of the whole school community is enabling recovery and reconnection.  They’ve got this!


Nick Sheffield – Mental Health and well being: being playful enough to play 

Both our learners and staff have worked through an extraordinarily traumatic time both during and after lockdown. I will be examining the challenges and possible solutions to re-introduce stimulating and student-lead learning; to bring the play back into playfulness and engaged learners back into our classrooms.

Cost: £75 plus VAT per place

(£90 including VAT)