Our History


In July 2018, The Schools Wellbeing Project was established by the Jewish Leadership Council to trial a comprehensive, coordinated and collaborative framework of mental health education and support. Following extensive academic research and having established an expert panel, it was determined that a pilot programme of positive and proactive mental health and wellbeing in schools should be established, monitored and evaluated by The Anna Freud Centre. The Project team worked in close consultation with the leadership of seven pilot schools to combine best practice programmes with the needs and unique culture of each school.


In January 2019, five Wellbeing Practitioners were employed to deliver this programme in the pilot schools.

The aim was to establish a safe, positive, proactive and sustainable approach to mental health and wellbeing for both primary and secondary schools, with The Anna Freud Centre monitoring and evaluating the programme against the three key performance indicators:

  • The wellbeing of children and young people
  • Staff awareness and value of emotional wellbeing
  • Parental understanding of mental health and  wellbeing


In March 2020, schools were closed due to the pandemic and the Wellbeing Practitioners took their work online. Although working online was challenging, the pandemic raised awareness for parents, carers and school staff about the importance of positive mental health.


In March 2021, schools reopened and the impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health became apparent. Schools were looking at best ways to support young people as life pre-pandemic slowly resumed.


In November 2022, a presentation of the findings of the three-year pilot was presented to stakeholders, and the seven pilot schools implementing the recommendations and submitting evidence all received the PaJeS Wellbeing & Me Award.

It was agreed by the advisory board, supported by the funders, that The Schools Wellbeing Project be held and further developed by PaJeS.


In January 2023, the JLC transferred The Schools Wellbeing Project to PaJeS and it became PaJeS Wellbeing.

The programme became integral to PaJeS offer and Julia Alberga and Jessica Overlander-Kaye became Wellbeing Managers, supporting schools with their mental health and Wellbeing offer across all PaJeS subscribed schools. A further 10 schools signed up and were awarded the PaJeS Wellbeing Award.