Further Education and Schools: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Mick Whitley Mick Whitley Labour, Birkenhead

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional funding he plans to make available to (a) schools and (b) further education providers to support the mental health needs of young people returning to classrooms in September 2020.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Getting children and young people back into education, with settings devoting time to supporting wellbeing, will play a fundamental part in supporting children and young people’s mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak. All pupils and students will return to a full high-quality education programme in September, so they have the opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, including a £650 million pupil premium shared across schools over the 2020-21 academic year, will support education settings to put the right catch-up support, including pastoral support, in place.

The catch-up premium is in addition to core funding through which schools already support young people. This year we are also providing £780 million additional high needs funding across England for children with the most complex special educational needs and disabilities. We are providing a further £730 million in 2021-22, which will bring the total high needs budget to over £8 billion.

From September, when pupils and students will return to schools and colleges, the government is investing £8 million in the new Wellbeing for Education Return programme, which will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents to the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Schools and colleges may also need to access support from specialist services. NHS mental health services remain open and all NHS mental health trusts have been asked to ensure that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. In addition to this, the government has provided over £9 million to mental health charities to ensure they can continue to support people experiencing mental health challenges throughout the outbreak.

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