Coronavirus Catch-up Premium: Mental Health

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th November 2021.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much of the Covid education recovery funding is dedicated to mental health.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are investing nearly £5 billion to support recovery for children and young people who need it most. This includes the recovery premium for this academic year worth over £300 million, weighted so that schools with more disadvantaged pupils receive more funding. Schools can use this funding to deliver evidence based approaches to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils.

Schools already support the mental wellbeing of their pupils as part of their curriculum provision and pastoral support, which is paid for from schools’ core funding. The autumn 2021 Spending Review delivers an additional £4.7 billion for the core schools’ budget by the 2024/25 financial year, compared to previous plans. This settlement includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in the 2022/23 financial year, on top of the funding we previously announced. It also includes an additional £1 billion for a Recovery Premium over the next two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24). Schools will have flexibility to target funding towards those pupils who need it most, and we will publish further detail around rates, allocations, and conditions of grant in due course.

In May 2021, we also announced £17 million to build on existing mental health support in schools and colleges. This included £9.5 million to offer senior mental health lead training to around a third of all state schools and colleges in the 2021/22 financial year. This helped to implement effective holistic approaches to mental health and wellbeing, and £7 million to Wellbeing for Education Recovery which enabled local authorities to continue supporting schools and colleges to meet ongoing mental wellbeing needs.

This is in addition to the £79 million announced by the Department of Health and Social Care in March 2021 to significantly expand children’s mental health services. This will partly be spent on speeding up and expanding the provision of Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges, meaning nearly three million children in England will access school or college-based support by April 2023.

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