The Anchor Approach

How the Anchor Approach supports the mental wellbeing of children and young people, training, tools, and resources.

The Anchor Approach supports adults to improve mental health and wellbeing in children, young people, and families.

We provide resources and training in a range of techniques informed by research on relationship building, attachment and trauma theory, and brain development.

This early intervention support can be used by:

  • parents and carers
  • schools and other education settings
  • Family Hubs
  • children’s services
  • health sector providers
  • voluntary organisations

How it works

The Anchor Approach focuses on building emotional resilience. This is the ability to manage and recover quickly from difficult situations.

Why use the Anchor Approach?

Over a 6-year period, exclusion rate data found that schools that fully embedded the Anchor Approach were 4 times less likely to exclude students.

For educational settings, the Anchor Approach offers a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health. Helping schools and other educational settings fulfil their requirement to provide mental health support for pupils, in a way that’s consistent with Department for Education (DfE) guidance. The independent evaluation by University College London reported that the Anchor Approach is "effective and meets DfE objectives".

Our case studies found the Anchor Approach was able to meet the following needs:

  • improve behaviour throughout the school
  • improve teacher wellbeing and relationships with parents
  • increase attainment of individual pupils
  • have a positive impact on school attendance
  • reduce student anxiety and the need for one-to-one support in the long-term
  • support school leadership teams with staff development and performance management
  • have positive impacts for safeguarding children
  • improve relationships between children and parents by supporting difficult conversations

Ways the Anchor Approach is delivered

For children aged 0 to 5

Anchor Approach tools and techniques can be used by:

  • hospital maternity staff
  • health visitors
  • Family Hubs
  • nurseries

For children and young people aged 4 to 18

The Anchor Approach provides educational settings with a 'whole school approach' to mental health, aimed at:

  • promoting behaviour and cultural change across staff and parent groups over time
  • supporting adults to meet their student's unmet needs
  • supporting adults to build strong relationships with pupils that encourage positive behaviours
  • promoting staff wellbeing and professional development

For children, young people, and families with specific needs

‘School Network Meetings’ bring together various professionals who work with children. The purpose of these meetings is to identify and meet the needs of specific children. Strategies discussed in these sessions are then shared with other staff so that children throughout Haringey with similar needs can also benefit.

Teams within Haringey children’s services, ‘mental health in schools’ staff and voluntary organisations also share information from these meetings with parents and carers.

Training, tools, and resources

Contact us for more information and/or to access:

  • core training
  • catch-up training
  • tools and resources

Contact the Anchor Approach team