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Our policy recommendations for Scotland

Our policy recommendations for Scotland

We have developed some policy recommendations based on our experience working with schools across the UK for almost 30 years.

Our key policy recommendations for Scotland

Our mission is to improve children’s mental health, so that no child faces mental health issues alone. We believe that every child deserves to have:

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Easy access to expert mental health support that prevents issues from getting worse

To achieve this, there needs to be:

  • long-term government investment so that children have access to a mental health service like Place2Be in every primary and secondary school, with early intervention and prevention embedded through a school-based counsellor or mental health practitioner
  • collaborative approaches to commissioning children and young people’s mental health services, involving local schools, voluntary and community organisations, local government, and NHS boards
  • voluntary and community organisations, and people with lived experience of mental ill health, should be involved in the design and delivery of mental health services, utilising their skills, experience, and workforce capabilities.
Culture Of Wellbeing

An inclusive school environment that understands and nurtures wellbeing

This means we need to see:

  • a national programme for the implementation of the Whole School Approach Framework in every school, with schools and local authorities being given the necessary and sustainable funding and resources to do this
  • all school staff – from student teachers through to senior leaders – equipped with the training they require to gain knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing
  • all student teachers, teachers, and school leaders should have access to spaces to reflect on their own practice, helping them to support the wellbeing of their pupils, and their own mental health and wellbeing
  • a school ethos that commits to uplifting wellbeing, building resilience and emotional strength of school populations including staff and pupils. This should form a key part of school accountability and oversight metrics
  • School Improvement Plans should set out how they will seek to improve pupil mental health and wellbeing, and support the wellbeing of school staff. This should be informed by routinely collected data on pupil wellbeing.
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The right to have a voice in the educational and mental health support they receive, and support that helps them to live well and thrive.

We can get there when:

  • children who need more specialist mental health support have a right to receive it at the point of need, in the most appropriate setting, and well within the Scottish Government’s 18-week standard
  • the Scottish Government meets its commitment to spending 10% of the frontline NHS budget on mental health, with 1% directed at services for children and young people
  • schools have the resources that they require to ensure children with additional support needs can fully realise their right to education, and staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to support them
  • local authorities and NHS boards should have robust plans for ensuring the rights of all children, as set out in the UNCRC, are respected in the design and delivery of health and education services, particularly their right to have their views listened to and taken into consideration.
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A loving, safe and supportive home life that builds positive mental health

We can get there by:

  • local and national government taking action to reduce child poverty and tackle the cost-of-living, particularly to reduce the cost of the school day
  • parents and carers being given appropriate advice, guidance and training to understand and respond to the behaviour of their children, support their mental health, and build positive relationships
  • long-term government investment to increase the availability of Whole Family Support and funded early learning and childcare
  • delivering the Promise by 2030, particularly by ensuring all care experienced children and young people can realise their right to education, through adequate school-based mental health support; a supported workforce around them; and support for their family.

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