Survey: Half of schools struggle to get mental health support for pupils
For Children’s Mental Health Week, Place2Be and school leaders’ union NAHT launch a new survey of 1,115 school leaders from across England and Wales.
More than half (56%) of school leaders say it is difficult to find mental health services for pupils, and more than one in five (22%) who attempt to find support are unsuccessful. 93% say that pupils bring more worries into school than they did five years ago.
The most common barriers to finding appropriate support described by respondents were a lack of capacity in services (36%), lack of local services (31%) and budget constraints (28%)*.
The results highlight the pressure on teachers, and the pressing need to ensure schools have access to the right professionals, resources and training so that pupils can get the help they need.
James Bowen, director of middle leaders’ union NAHT Edge, added:
In primary schools, almost all school leaders (97%) felt that people underestimate the level of mental health problems amongst pupils. While 95% of primary school leaders feel that their teachers already go ‘above and beyond’ to support their pupils’ wellbeing, only two in five (39%) feel confident that their staff would know how to respond if a pupil had a mental health crisis. Although the Prime Minister recently announced measures to introduce mental health training for teachers, this will only apply to secondary schools not primaries.
*The barriers to commissioning services were categorised based on free text responses
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