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George Metcalfe

Co-founder of Tes-backed student wellbeing service, Tranquiliti

Aaron John

Co-founder of Tes-backed student wellbeing service, Tranquiliti 

Aaron John and George Metcalfe, the co-founders of Tes-backed student wellbeing service, Tranquiliti, work with schools to build cultures for wellbeing and provide teachers and pupils with the resources needed to flourish.

What inspired the creation of your wellbeing technology?

We both had difficult experiences at school, particularly over the lack of wellbeing provision. After working in schools during a postgraduate course in social innovation in 2017, we then decided to create Tranquiliti. We wanted to see how we could help young people develop their own wellbeing while supporting schools to create environments where all students feel supported. 

What challenges are schools facing in supporting pupil wellbeing?

When we started research in 2017, only one-quarter of pupils with mental health issues were receiving the support they needed. Then, Covid-19 came along and made the problems far greater, with schools often first-line responders for these issues.

The problem for schools is they are in a state of firefighting, and they sometimes lack the capacity and understanding to know how to respond. Only 40% of teachers feel sufficiently equipped to teach young people who have wellbeing concerns. Schools want students to have the skills to look after their own wellbeing, and they want teachers to have the confidence to support wellbeing in their classroom, so that’s what we help to do.

How could technology help schools support students?

Technology is everywhere, for better or worse, so the solution lies in making technology part of a positive engagement with wellbeing.

Only 40% of teachers feel sufficiently equipped to teach young people who have wellbeing concerns.

We often ask: Why is technology not being used within education to provide personalised guidance to students and teachers for wellbeing, and to help them access the materials they need?

What barriers do schools face in implementing technology to support wellbeing?

Effectively embedding a new piece of technology in schools is not straightforward, and they need help from companies like ours in order to achieve this. Our platform works across all devices, but there is also a discussion going on at the moment as to how schools can limit the negative impacts of phones while embracing the potential benefits and helping pupils form healthy habits.

How does your technology help schools overcome their challenges?

Our service puts student wellbeing at the heart of secondary schools. Through our app, every student takes five minutes each week, at home or at school, to answer questions about how they are feeling. The service then generates insights for students, teachers and school leaders and suggests resources to each individual based on those insights.

All our resources are being developed alongside a community of leading wellbeing practitioners. So, through these insights and resources, we build understanding and confidence around wellbeing across the school community and develop the ability to be truly proactive.

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