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Our policy recommendations

Our policy recommendations

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

Our key policy recommendation

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 recommendations to achieve this

Education and schools

  • To increase focus on prevention and early intervention. Evidence shows that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14.
  • To prioritise pupil wellbeing, understanding its strong link to improving behaviour and access to learning.
  • To promote a whole-school approach to mental health. Recognising staff wellbeing, and partnerships with carers, parents, and families are crucial for supporting children and young people with mental health and creating a healthy school community.

Data and accountability

  • To support schools to adopt wellbeing measurements to better understand and monitor pupils' mental health and wellbeing.
  • To increase emphasis on pupil wellbeing as part of a whole-school approach to mental health in education inspection frameworks (EIFs).

Training for school staff

  • To increase emphasis on pupil wellbeing, mental health and whole-school approaches to mental health in initial teacher training.

Funding and investment

  • To understand the essential need for long-term and sustainable funding for children's and young people's mental health services.
  • To sufficiently fund schools so they have the flexibility to implement mental health support that meets the needs of their pupils and school community.

Wider systems

  • For Integrated Care Systems to prioritise children's and young people'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 assess existing support in their regions and seek to work closely with expert voluntary sector providers such as Place2Be in their area (England only).

Download our recommendations (PDF 54KB)

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