The Commons Health and Education Committees expressed concern about the state of children and young people’s mental health last week and explored the role of education in improving the situation. Their joint report followed a wide ranging inquiry which took evidence from leading child mental health bodies, experts and ministers.
The report recommended a whole school approach, and as part of this asked the new Government to follow through on proposals to make personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education statutory on the curriculum. According to the report, this would not only support pupils’ mental health but also address potential contributory factors to poor mental health.
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week we have now summarised evidence we submitted to the inquiry into a short briefing on why making PSHE statutory could have such a positive impact. This briefing presents relevant research, outlines the problem with PSHE education’s current status and the opportunities presented by an upcoming consultation on improving this status.
For three years running our annual member survey has highlighted mental health as the area of PSHE education of greatest concern, so we will continue to support you to address this in the classroom. Besides resources such as our DfE funded guidance and series of lesson plans on promoting mental health through PSHE we run CPD training days on promoting mental health and emotional wellbeing through PSHE – our next primary course runs on 9 June and our next secondary course on 13 June – and our June annual conference events include practical workshops on the topic.