From education to employment

Mental health support for pupils and learners increased

Today’s statistics show the Government is on track to offer senior mental health lead training grants to all schools and colleges by 2025 and to extend coverage of mental health support teams to at least 50% of pupils and learners in England by the end of March 2025.

  • The take up of senior mental health lead training grants has increased to 70% (16,700) of eligible schools and colleges (including over 80% of secondary schools) as of March 2024, up from 58% (13,800) last year.
  • 44% (4.2m) of pupils in schools and learners were covered by mental health support teams, up from 35% (3.4m) last year.

Children’s Minister David Johnston said:

“Having the right support at the right time is critical to prevent mental health concerns from escalating.

“During this Mental Health Awareness week, I am pleased to announce 70% of schools and colleges have taken up our senior mental health training grants and we are on track to meet our aim to provide this grant to all schools by 2025.”

Minister for Health Maria Caulfield said:

“Good mental health is vital for children and young people to be able to learn, make friends and build confidence. That’s why we have committed to introducing mental health support teams in schools and colleges across the country.

“These services provide crucial support ensuring students with emerging mental health difficulties have access to the help they need. It’s fantastic to see so many schools and colleges are receiving this support – through both mental health training and support teams – and I encourage every student who needs help to make use of the services.”

Claire Murdoch, NHS National Mental Health Director, said:

“NHS mental health teams are currently in contact with record numbers of children and young people, and since fast-tracking the introduction of these mental health support teams, it’s brilliant that we can confirm that well over two fifths of pupils in schools and in further education are now covered by expert support.

“This achievement shows the joint commitment to mental health and wellbeing across the NHS and education is crucial, and we know that these world leading services are helping children and young people with many anxieties or issues they may have. 

“NHS staff and our partners in education continue to push implementation, and we are on course to reach more than 50% this time next year, so I would urge everyone, whether you’re a teacher, parent or child, to access this early support.” 

ASCL comment on mental health support for schools and colleges

Responding to new data from the Department for Education showing the delivery of mental health support in schools and colleges, Margaret Mulholland, SEND and Inclusion Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“It’s just not acceptable that in 2025, eight years after the initiative was first proposed, half of all pupils will still be without access to mental health support teams. Access varies widely across the country, meaning the level of support available is still something of a postcode lottery, while waiting times for children and young people’s mental health services remain worryingly long.

“There needs to be significant investment in tackling the mental health crisis among children and young people, including the rollout of mental health support teams to all schools and colleges as soon as possible. This glacial progress, when set against the increasing demand for support and growing unmet needs, should be no cause for celebration.”

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