Our policy recommendations
We have developed some policy recommendations based on our experience working with schools across the UK for over 27 years.
Our key policy recommendation is:
Based on our experience, UK schools should have an embedded mental health service - to provide direct support for children and young people and to promote the development of a whole-school approach to mental wellbeing.
Our secondary policy recommendations are:
Education and schools
- For an increased focus on prevention and early intervention, supporting children in primary schools as well as secondary schools. The evidence tells us that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14.
- To prioritise pupil wellbeing and understand that this is intrinsically linked to improving both behaviour and access to learning.
- To promote a whole-school approach to mental health and recognise that staff wellbeing and partnerships with carers, parents and families are crucial for supporting children with their mental health and creating a mentally healthy school community.
Data and accountability
- To support schools to adopt wellbeing measurements to better understand and monitor the wellbeing of pupils.
- For education inspection frameworks to have increased emphasis on pupil wellbeing as part of a whole-school approach to mental health.
Training for school staff
- For initial teacher training to have increased emphasis on pupil wellbeing and mental health, and whole-school approaches to mental health.
Funding and investment
- The need for long term and sustainable funding and investment is essential.
- For schools to be sufficiently funded to have the flexibility to commission mental health support that meets the needs of their pupils and school community.
- For Integrated Care Systems to prioritise children’s mental health and look at joint commissioning arrangements that establish high-quality school-based mental health support (England only).
- For NHS Mental Health Support Teams to scope existing provision in their regions and seek to work closely with expert voluntary sector providers such as Place2Be in areas where they are operating (England only).