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Schools: Mental Health Services

Question for Department for Education

UIN 35829, tabled on 19 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) in-school mental health counsellors and (b) mental health workers there were in schools in each year from 2010 to 2021.

Answered on

22 July 2021

Information on the number of in-school mental health counsellors and mental health workers is not collected centrally.

The department collects information on staff working in state funded schools via the annual School Workforce Census but does not directly identify in-school mental health counsellors and mental health workers. The results are published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

Our most recent survey of mental health provision in schools and colleges published in 2017 found that 61% of schools and colleges (56% of primary schools, 84% of secondary schools and 93% of colleges) reported offering access to counselling service for their pupils.

School and college-based counselling is valuable provision which can play a particularly effective role as part of a whole-school or college approach, within which support can come from several sources. In that context, it is important that schools and colleges have the freedom to decide what support to offer to students and staff based on their needs, drawing on an evidence base of effective practice. Our ‘Counselling in schools’ guidance offers support and advice to schools on setting up and improving counselling services and how they can work together to best support pupils: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/counselling-in-schools.

We are also committed to delivering our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, which includes introducing new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) into schools and colleges. These teams are intended to provide early intervention on mild to moderate issues, as well as helping staff within a school or college setting to provide a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing.

The £79 million boost to children and young people’s mental health support that we announced in March will include accelerating the rollout of MHSTs. There are now over 280 MHSTs set up or in training, and this will grow to around 400 by April 2023, supporting nearly 3 million children across the country. This increase means that millions of children and young people will have access to significantly expanded mental health services. High level MHST breakdowns by year, region and area can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/cyp/trailblazers/mh-support-teams/.

Named day
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