10 May 2021
The BPS is encouraged to see the announcement of £17 million mental health funding for schools and colleges from the Department of Education.
While this funding is a welcome step, we want to see detailed plans about how the money will be spent to ensure it is used wisely, with funding distributed fairly across the country to ensure all schools and colleges can provide the support their children and young people need.
We want to see a psychologically-informed approach to the use of this new funding, with psychologists involved in the design and delivery of services and support.
With this announcement being made at the start of Mental Health Awareness week, we’d encourage the government to also reflect on their recent rhetoric around schools and colleges, in particular the ‘crack-down’ on behaviour in schools, and the push for children to ‘catch up’ on so-called ‘lost learning’.
Vivian Hill, vice-chair of the BPS’ Division of Educational and Child Psychology, said:
“This funding is a positive step in the right direction and will ensure that more children and young people can access support within their schools and colleges. The idea of local partnerships between health and education is particularly welcome, with the opportunity for psychologists to be involved and offer their expertise.
“However, if the government is serious about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people, we want to see an overhaul of the national curriculum to adequately meet the educational and psychological needs of all children.
“As well as pledging extra funding we want to see a shift in approach and for the government to adopt a holistic approach to education, responding to what works well for children and building environments where all children and young people can thrive.”