Pupils: Mental Illness

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th January 2019.

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Photo of Peter Kyle Peter Kyle Labour, Hove

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support children who are affected by school phobia and refusal.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Where a school identifies that a pupil faces an issue which is affecting their ability to take part in lessons, they should work with parents or carers to identify what action to take appropriate to their individual circumstances, following the statutory guidance set out in the ‘Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0-25 years’ document. This can be accessed on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25.

Where a school feels that a child might have a social anxiety disorder or ‘school phobia’, they might need to seek support from a mental health specialist. The Government has taken a number of steps to improve provision of specialist children and young people’s mental health services. An additional £1.4 billion is being made available to the NHS between 2015 and 2020 to fund increased access. In addition to this, the proposals set out in the transforming children and young people’s mental health provision green paper will establish new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges This includes supporting all schools and colleges to identify and train a designated senior lead for mental health to oversee the approach to mental health and wellbeing. The first areas that will test the new teams were announced on 20 December 2018 and the longer term aim is to provide teams to support all schools and colleges in England.

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