IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Whole school approaches to building resilience and promoting mental health

06 February 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Children leap in PE class

Findings are presented from the first two years of a country-wide implementation of a whole-school approach to building resilience and promoting mental health called the Academic Resilience Approach (ARA).

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Bernardita Munoz Chereau


Room W2.05
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

The  Academic Resilience Approach (ARA) is a whole school change process developed by Professor Angie Hart and Lisa Williams. The authors of the ARA reject individualised notions of ‘coping’ with adversity, which they argue maintain rather than challenge inequality. 

The ARA is based on a socio-ecological conceptualisation of resilience as a combination of individual and contextual factors. This builds capacity to not only overcome adversity, but to challenge the causes of adversity. The ARA is an iterative process of organisational change, involving auditing, preserving and generating contextual protective factors for the resilience of all members of the school community.

Data was collected from 18 schools involved the ARA in one local authority in the North of England, who developed a locally facilitated ARA model.

Findings highlight the dynamic interaction between internal and external enabling and constraining factors throughout the change process, and the transformative potential of the systemic and co-productive approach. Aligning existing pressures and priorities with the whole school approach increased staff commitment and engagement, and was particularly important for school leaders. Shared values, increased communication and distributed leadership were perceived to be central to initiating and sustaining whole school change.


About the Speaker

Dr Josie Maitland

at University of Brighton