Job Description

We are looking for a School Mental Health Team Lead to join us, leading a team providing integrated mental health services to the children and young people in the Harris Federation.

Interviews for this role will be held on Friday 3rd May 2024 at the Harris Institute of Teaching and Leadership, 170 Lennard Road, BR3 1QP.


The founder and sponsor of the Harris Federation, Lord Harris of Peckham, opened our first school in 1990. We have, over the past thirty years, implemented ideas and initiatives that have transformed the opportunities of pupils from working class and disadvantaged backgrounds. Harris academies are widely recognised as a force for social mobility. We are immensely proud of the role that our alumni are now beginning to play in the world and of what we believe our current generation of pupils will go on to achieve.

We now have over 50 schools educating more than 40,000 young people across London and Essex, and employ over 5,000 staff across our academies and head office. With the majority of our academies located in areas of high socioeconomic disadvantage, a high-quality education is key to the futures of the pupils we serve.

As a provider of employment and education, we value the diversity of our staff and students, and all our staff are equally valued and respected. We are committed to providing a fair, equitable and mutually supportive learning and working environment for our students and staff.

Our work will impact many generations to come, and our staff come from all backgrounds and walks of life, coming together to inspire young minds. We promote an inclusive culture that embraces the valuable and enriching contribution that all of our community make. We continue to be proactive in uplifting and supporting all voices at Harris.

To discover more about our culture, ethos and what it is like to work here, visit the Why Work For Us page.


You will supervise a team of four School Mental Health Practitioners (SMHPs) in providing an integrated mental health service to students aged 11-18, their teachers, and their families across eight secondary schools. This will involve:

  • Providing regular clinical supervision to the SMHPs
  • Managing and supporting them in delivering clinical assessments and interventions to students experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues

You will also hold your own caseload of students, provides specialist interventions, with responsibilities including:

  • Liaising with parents, carers, staff, and external agencies as needed
  • Working collaboratively with the Harris Federation Senior Lead Consultant, Directory of Secondary Schools, senior school leaders of the eight schools, and SMHPs to develop the wider service, share best practices, and innovate

A full list of responsibilities can be found in the Job Pack.


We would like to hear from you if you:

  • Hold a graduate level degree in field relevant to the post
  • Hold a recognised training qualification in youth counselling and/or evidence-based psychological therapy for children, young people and families
  • Are registered with your relevant professional body
  • Have completed post qualification training and supervised experience in a clinical role with children, young people and families who experience mental health difficulties
  • Have completed post qualification training and experience in a clinical role involving the supervision/leadership of others in their work with children, young people and families who experience mental health difficulties
  • Have significant post qualification experience within a relevant field of expertise
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the full range of emotional and mental health needs of young people and associated risk and protective factors
  • Demonstrate skill and theoretical understanding of a range of evidence-based psychological therapeutic models relevant to troubled young people, and their families
  • Have experience of and skills in undertaking clinical assessment, formulation and treatment planning alongside parents, carers and school staff based on child’s needs
  • Have the ability to plan and deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to address the full range of mental health disorders with a young person and their carer
  • Demonstrate knowledge of school environments and an understanding of the process of engaging young people who require or would benefit from emotional and therapeutic support
  • Have skills in supporting parents and providing evidence-based parenting advice and interventions
  • Have the ability to provide staff consultation and advice in a timely manner to sustain students’ wellbeing
  • Have the ability to work in partnership with specialist mental health providers and third sector agencies to support troubled students and families
  • Have the ability to complete assessment and formulation of the full range of child and adolescent mental health disorders and related neurodevelopmental conditions and associated risk and protective factors
  • Have the ability to undertake mental health risk assessments with children and young people, including suicidality and self-harm, eating disorders and sexually harmful behaviours

For full person specification please download the job pack.


Harris has a strong culture of collaboration and best practice, with professional development and career planning at its centre. We invest in our staff with support, coaching, mentoring, and a wide range of top-quality training programmes delivered at every level.

You will also have access to a variety of benefits, support programmes and initiatives including:

  • Excellent opportunities for continuous professional development and career progression
  • Annual performance and loyalty bonus
  • Pension scheme (Teachers’ Pension Scheme or Local Government Pension Scheme) with generous employer contribution
  • 26 days’ annual leave (inclusive of our Christmas Eve closure day) plus bank holidays, rising to 27 days after 2 years’ service, or equivalent for staff on term time contracts
  • Electric car salary sacrifice scheme (up to 40% discount)
  • Harris Wellbeing Cash Plan including cover for routine and specialist healthcare
  • Employee Assistance Programme for free and confidential advice
  • Cycle to work salary sacrifice scheme
  • Wide range of shopping, leisure, and travel discounts
  • 20% off at Tapi Carpets, exclusive to Harris employees
  • Interest-free ICT and season ticket loans

For most non-teaching staff based at our Head Office in East Croydon, we also offer lifestyle friendly working arrangements including flexible start and end times, and hybrid working with two days from home and three days on site.


If you would like to discuss the opportunity further, or if you have any questions, please contact us via email to arrange a conversation.

Before applying please ensure you download the job pack from our careers website, this will help with completing your application. Please note that we only accept applications submitted online before the closing date.

When applying, you will have the option to import your CV or use a LinkedIn profile which will auto populate the online application.

A reminder to check your junk mail for our email communications and add us to your safe senders list to ensure all future email communication is received.


Our vision, from the start, has been to provide the structure and services needed for our schools to amount to more than the sum of their parts, and to free-up our teachers and leaders to focus on one thing and one thing only: the outstanding education of all their pupils. Our young people and communities are at the heart of everything we do. Our core mission has always been to close the educational gap between young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers. Our ambition is one where every child in London, no matter their background, has equal access to high quality education, giving them the same opportunities and potential to succeed.

We know there are many challenges facing our young people and the communities we serve, and that’s why we need determined people like you to help us tackle those inequalities. Whilst each of our academies has their own unique cultures and values; as a whole Federation, we have four core values which are central to successfully achieving our vision: Excellence, Collaboration, Support, and Innovation. We are proud of our values because they guide us in how we work allowing us to achieve the best possible outcomes for our young people, communities, and colleagues.


Safeguarding Notice

The Harris Federation and all our academies are committed to ensuring the highest levels of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and we expect all our staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All offers of employment are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, references, an online search, and where applicable, a prohibition from teaching check will be completed.

Equal Opportunities

The Harris Federation is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates. We value the diversity of our staff and students, and everyone at the Harris Federation is equally valued and respected. We aim to be an inclusive employer that reflects the communities we serve. We are committed to providing a fair, equitable and mutually supportive learning and working environment.