To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle loneliness and social isolation among school-aged children.
8 February 2018
On 17 January the Government announced that my hon. Friend, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society will lead a cross-government group which will take responsibility for driving action on loneliness. The Department will work as part of the group looking at what can be done to tackle loneliness and social isolation, especially for the most vulnerable children.
The Department is funding a £700,000 pilot investigating ways to set up effective peer support for mental health and wellbeing in schools, and is also providing £1.5 million to support anti-bullying projects, such as the Diana Award Ambassador programme.
The Department is currently conducting a thorough engagement process on the scope and content of Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education, which will be made statutory in primary and secondary schools respectively.
The Government is also consulting on the green paper ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’ which includes further proposals to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, supported by over £300 million of funding. The green paper is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.