To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the report entitled Back on Track supporting young people out of lockdown, published by the YMCA in August 2020, if he will develop a strategy for children and young People’s recovery from covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown which targets (a) education, (b) reducing loneliness, (c) improving mental health, and (d) reducing family strain.
The department is aware of the impact Covid-19 has had on young people. We have worked closely with both young people and the youth sector to understand the effects of the pandemic, and are considering how the £500 million Youth Investment Fund, alongside other government initiatives, can best support young people with the issues we know to have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
DCMS has also worked closely with departments across Whitehall to ensure rounded support for young people. The Department of Education has placed a particular focus on wellbeing support for children and young people during the pandemic and as young people return to school and college. This includes investing £8 million in the Wellbeing for Education Return training and advice programme, which will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents.