The Facilitated Academic Resilience Approach (F-ARA) is a partnership between academics, policy makers, practitioners, parents/carers and young people. F-ARA aims to build personal and collective resilience in schools through involving all members of the school community in recognising and tackling inequalities and promoting mental health.
An offshoot of the web-based ARA (the Academic Resilience Approach), F-ARA is a free resource for schools developed with schools, funded by the Department of Education. F-ARA is changing the odds for children and young people across the school community. Evaluated pilots have reported success in 35 schools to date, and the intervention requires evaluating to see if it works beyond these pilot areas.
Schools and children’s mental health commissioners are asking for increasing numbers of F-ARA interventions, with 10 local authorities having had support so far and over 100 schools involved. Evaluations suggest that the resource supports schools to help the most disadvantaged children and build resilience across the school community. National charity YoungMinds have implemented the ARA through their national training programme.
The Resilient Therapy (RT) Learning Programme is delivered regularly to practitioners and students, with two accredited resilience courses at the University of Brighton with undergraduate and Masters students from Newham and Blackpool. The team is part of a funded implementation of ARA, RT, and another innovation ‘Friend for Life’ (Hart), across the entire town of Blackpool, involving all statutory practitioners in health and social care, education, and young people themselves. This has created 12 jobs in Blackpool, one of the most deprived parts of the UK, and two full-time PhD students based at Brighton.