Pupils: Mental Health Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd January 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional mental health support the Government is providing to pupils during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

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

The government has made children’s wellbeing and mental health a central part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the support we have already put in place for children and young people will be critical during this time. The department has issued guidance for schools which includes information and sources of further advice on supporting mental health and wellbeing, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

We have ensured that schools have the flexibility to offer a place in school as a vulnerable child to any pupils for whom being in school will help them manage their wellbeing and mental health, or to access support more easily. Decisions will be informed by the school’s experience of how pupils have been affected so far.

Schools will continue to offer pastoral support to pupils working remotely at home, informed and supported by training and expert advice that we have made available, including through the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return scheme and through local links with mental health providers. This information and support is relevant to remote provision as well as to those attending school. Schools should make sure that parents and pupils know who to contact if they have new concerns about mental health and wellbeing.

A £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across early years, schools and 16-19 providers over the 2020/21 academic year is also supporting education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

The department will also be convening a task force to look at the effects on children, young people and staff in the education system and we will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

Public Health England has produced guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing. For those who need specialist support or help, all NHS Mental Health Trusts are providing 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages and continue to deliver mental health support to children and young people.

The government continues to invest in and prioritise mental health. The NHS will receive around an additional £500 million this year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce.

In the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams for all schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.