Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|18 Jun 2020, 5:38 p.m.||Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)||Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)|
Question to the Department for Education:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the effect of changes to education as a result of covid-19 on the mental health of pupils.
Answered by Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Ministers and officials in the Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care are meeting regularly to discuss the effect of the changes to education and how to provide support for mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. Access to mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS services remain open, and leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. During Mental Health Awareness Week, the government announced that a further £4.2 million will be awarded to mental health charities, including the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK.
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. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which is available here:
The department has signposted resources on supporting and promoting mental wellbeing among the list of resources to help children to learn at home, which are available here:
BBC Bitesize has also worked with the department to provide content with substantial focus on mental health, wellbeing and pastoral care.
The return to school will, in itself, be part of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, as attendance at school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. We have now given secondary schools the flexibility to have a face-to-face ‘check-up’ with all pupils during the summer term, which will ensure more children and young people are able to achieve this benefit. Pupil wellbeing is an important consideration within our guidance on actions for educational and childcare settings as they begin to open in June 2020, which is available at:
The planning guide for primaries provides more information on supporting the mental wellbeing of pupils as they return to school: