Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Exeter Medical School has been awarded a CBE for services to psychiatry in the 2019 Queen’s birthday honours list. Professor Ford has played an instrumental role in helping to improve health services and schools across the UK and advised Ofsted about mental health in relation to their new education inspection framework. Her work has been cited in recent health and education policy documents and is regularly cited in government.
Since 2010 Professor Ford has led a PenCLAHRC supported project, Supporting Teachers and Children in Schools (STARS), now in its second phase, to assess whether the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management programme (IY-TCM) can help teachers to reduce disruptive behaviour and promote well-being among school pupils. Figures from a survey series of the Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, carried out between 1999 and 2017, show that 1 in 8 (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017. Professor Ford’s research suggests that disruptive behaviour in the classroom may be an indicator of poor mental health and social adjustment, affecting a child’s academic attainment and life chances. This work laid the foundation for a successful application to the Education Endowment Fund with Darren Moore (Graduate School of Education) and Rachel Hayes (University of Exeter Medical School) to lead a review about how best to support children to behave better in school.
Professor Ford has been involved in all three national population surveys of child and adolescent mental health which took place in 1999 (10,438 school age children), 2004 (7,977 school age children) and 2017 (9117 2-19 year olds), the results of which are commonly quoted in policy documents. Tamsin and her team have carried out many additional analyses, for example that excluded children are more likely to develop mental health conditions, teachers are the most commonly accessed “mental health survey” and poor teacher pupil relations can predict the new onset of mental health conditions.
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter said: “This is a well-deserved honour for Tamsin, who has done so much to transform health services and schools in the UK. Her work is providing valuable evidence and being used to improve public services.”