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Social, Emotional and Mental
Health (SEMH)

Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are a type of special educational needs in which children/young people have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour. Children and young people experiencing SEMH difficulties may be:​

  • withdrawn or isolated

  • hyperactive and lack concentration

  • immature in relation to social skills

  • displaying behaviour that challenges which could be arising from other complex special needs


This could also mean mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression or they could be self-harming, experiencing substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained.


They may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder and may be frustrated and struggle with school routines and relationships.



Example Provisions & Interventions


  • Thrive approach

  • Relational approach

  • Curious approach to behaviour

  • Repair/ restorative practice around behaviour

  • Behaviour policy

  • Code of Conduct

  • EHMH (Early Help for Mental Health) 10 a day

  • Zones of Regulation

  • Mental Health lessons

  • Class Thrive work linked to class targets

  • Class Worry Box

  • Zone Buddy lunchtime support



  • Pastoral support from year group TA

  • Meet & greet

  • Zones of Regulation intervention

  • Thrive intervention

  • Mental Health lessons

  • Co-regulation plan


  • Mental Health Support Team (1:1/ Small groups)

  • Place2Be (Mental Health Practitioner -1:1 counselling)

  • Place2Be (Family Practitioner -family support)

  • School Behaviour Unit

  • Local Authority SEMH Resource Base

  • SEMH team referral


My Story

Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH) Lead
Mrs Emma Ravenscroft (Assistant Headteacher)

I have worked at Ilfracombe Church of England Junior School for many years, beginning my journey here as a class teacher. Now, as part of my Assistant Headteacher role, I lead on PSHE, personal development, behaviour & attitudes and pastoral support within the school.​


Over the years, I have developed a passion for learning about SEND. I have undertaken a range of training and learnt much about different areas of SEND including autism and SLCN (speech, language and communication needs). Currently, I am completing the National Award for SEN Coordination which I am really enjoying.


I am particularly interested in the SEMH area of SEND. Having completed various training around the Thrive approach, attachment, trauma & mental health, I now lead on the SEMH area of SEN, and I am the Senior Mental Health Lead in school. My role also involves overseeing both our local authority resource base and school behaviour unit.


​I work closely with a brilliant team of people who support me with this work including the NHS MHST (mental health support team), the Place2Be mental health charity, our Thrive Practitioners and the SEMH school support staff.  I am incredibly proud of all the support we have on offer to support pupils with SEMH needs. I feel this reflects how much we as a school recognise the importance of this.


Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH) Lead

Mrs Emma Ravenscroft (Assistant Headteacher)

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