We highlight parts of the report and our response to these key elements:
The report calls for a continued investment and commitment to the whole education approach to mental health
All of our work at Minds Ahead is about contributing to and enhancing the whole education approach to mental health, whether that be our innovative and deepening work with the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools; delivering the UK’s only Masters for the Leadership of Mental Health in Schools or designing innovative curriculum for schools and colleges to teach. There is widespread support for this continued work.
The report calls for a national assessment of children and young people’s wellbeing
Our research into health data, education data and international comparisons shows that our nation is way behind where it needs to be. We support school and college leaders to interpret and understand the limited and inconsistent data that we can draw on. It is time for a proper data and evidence base which schools and colleges can use to improve their mental health strategies.
The report for schools to stop exclusions this year
We regularly call out the data which shows that certain groups, including those with recognised mental health needs, are at much greater chance of exclusions. We would not tolerate this for any other disability. We must ensure that schools and colleges are inclusive and welcoming places for their most vulnerable and disadvantaged students.
The report highlights sleep as a major issue
Many of the education leaders that we talk with bring up sleep as a major factor in student’s. It is clear that parents are struggling with the significant pressure which is created by the multi-billion pound social media industry. Schools and colleges would welcome additional guidance and support, informed by the evidence, to ensure that the developing minds of the next generation and getting the quality rest they need to grow and function properly.
The report found that the majority of respondents say that the biggest investment for mental health should in educational settings
It is impressive to see how perceptions around mental health have been transformed in recent years to the extent that schools and colleges are now recognised as playing the major role in supporting and enhancing mental health. Educational leaders are wanting to take on this challenge as they know that they can make a difference. However, as the report identifies, they need support and investment to do this well. Minds Ahead are working with partners to bring additional resources to schools and colleges and will continue to share these with the sector.