To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of a longer school day on the mental health of students.
22 March 2021
The government is committed to helping all children and young people catch up on education lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, committed to work with parents, teachers, pupils and education providers to develop a long-term plan to help pupils make up their education over the course of this Parliament.
We have also appointed Sir Kevan Collins as the Education Recovery Commissioner to advise on this broader plan and we will say more on this in due course. The objectives of the Education Recovery Commissioner, as outlined in the terms of reference, are to advise on the design and implementation of potential interventions that will help students catch up education lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The terms of reference for the Education Recovery Commissioner are published here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/960070/Terms_of_reference.pdf#:~:text=Education%20Recovery%20Commissioner%3A%20role%20specification%20and%20terms%20of,approach%20for%20education%20recovery%2C%20with%20a%20particular%20focus.
The government is also committed to supporting children’s and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during this period. Schools can use their additional funding from the catch-up package for pastoral support for mental wellbeing where pupils need it.
We have also set up ‘Wellbeing for Education Return’, an £8 million scheme funding expert advisers and training in every local authority area to support education staff to respond to the emotional and mental health pressures some children and young people may be feeling because of COVID-19. Over 90% of local authority areas in England have reported that they are delivering additional training and support into local schools and further education providers because of this funding.