Schools: Mental Health Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 6th June 2019.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the current minimum requirements is for provision of mental health services in schools.

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

It is up to schools to decide what support to put in place based on the individual circumstances of their pupils. The statutory Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice sets out the approach that schools should take when a member of staff identifies emerging concerns such as mental health issues. This approach informs the decision as to whether a child needs special education provision, and so applies to children regardless of whether they have a need or disability. The Code is clear that support should not require a specific diagnosis, and should be provided from an early stage, including the involvement of external professionals where appropriate.

To ensure schools have access to specialist mental health support, the Department is working closely with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care to provide new mental health support teams. These will provide a range of support and interventions for groups of schools and colleges. The aim is for the new teams to be established in 20-25% of England by 2023. This will start with 25 trailblazer areas which will be fully operational by the end of this year.

The Department is also incentivising schools to identify and train a senior mental health lead, who will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of a whole school approach to promoting better mental health and wellbeing.

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