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Schools: Mental Health Services

Question for Department for Education

UIN 60603, tabled on 18 January 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of school-based mental health services for young people aged between 10 and 17.

Answered on

23 January 2017

Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a priority for this Government. We want all our children to fulfil their potential and we want to tackle the burning injustice of mental health problems, so that future generations can develop into resilient, confident adults, equipped to go as far as their talents will take them. Attainment is best supported if children have good mental health.

We are currently conducting a large-scale survey of schools and colleges about what they offer to support the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and students. The results should be available in the Spring and will provide the first nationally representative estimates of the different types of support available in schools and colleges, as well as information about how this support is provided and how effective schools think it is.

Schools are able to decide on, and make assessments of, the support they provide for their pupils, based on their individual needs. To support them to do this, we have provided a range of information, support, advice and guidance. This includes guidance on how to ensure school-based counselling services achieve the best outcomes for all students, including vulnerable children and young people; guidance on teaching about mental health within their PSHE curriculum; and providing teachers with access to free on-line support on a range of mental health issues via MindEd.

We recognise that teachers are not mental health professionals, and where more serious problems occur, schools and colleges should expect to be able to access specialist support. This year we will be extending the pilot of joint training for single points of contact in schools and mental health services to test how it works on a wider scale. This pilot covered 27 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and 255 schools in 2015/16, the extension will cover up to a further 1200 schools and colleges in an additional 20 CCGs.

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