Mental health and wellbeing in schools in the manifestos

Thursday 18th May - Elisa Mascellani, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer

It is great that mental health and wellbeing in schools are being included in the party political manifestos, and that such a key issue is being discussed in this election period.

As a helpful guide, NGN has combed through the manifestos and picked out (copied and pasted) each party’s policies on wellbeing and mental health in schools:

Conservatives

  • A Conservative government will publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of this year 
  • We will introduce mental health first aid training for teachers in every primary and secondary school by the end of the parliament and ensure that every school has a single point of contact with mental health services 
  • Every child will learn about mental wellbeing and the mental health risks of internet harms in the curriculum 
  • We will reform Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services so that children with serious conditions are seen within an appropriate timeframe and no child has to leave their local areas and their local area and their family to receive normal treatment.

Labour

  • We will extend schools-based counselling to all schools to improve children’s mental health, at a cost of £90 million per year
  • And we will deliver a strategy for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) based on inclusivity, and embed SEND more substantially into training for teachers and non-teaching staff, so that staff, children and their parents are properly supported.
  • We will introduce a new Index of Child Health to measure progress against international standards, and report annually against four key indicators: obesity, dental health, under-fives and mental health.
  • We will implement a strategy for the children of alcoholics based on recommendations drawn up by independent experts.

Liberal Democrats

  • Continue to roll out access and waiting time standards for children, young people and adults. This will include a guarantee that people will not wait more than six weeks for therapy for depression or anxiety and no young person will wait more than two weeks for treatment when they experience a first episode of psychosis. 
  • Examine the case for introducing a dedicated service for children and young people based on the Australian ‘headspace’ model and building on any excellent youth information, advice and counselling services 
  • Ensure that all front-line public services professionals, including in schools and universities, receive better training in mental health
  • Ensure that identification and support for special educational needs and disabilities takes place as early as possible. All new policies should have an assessment of how they affect pupils who have special educational needs, and ensure they adhere to duties under the Equality Act. 
  • Introduce a curriculum entitlement – a slimmed down core national curriculum, which will be taught in all state funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education: a ‘curriculum for life’ including financial literacy first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Sex and Relationship Education (SRE).
  • Ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling
  • Include promoting wellbeing as a statutory duty of a school, to be part of the Ofsted inspection framework 
  • Ensure collaboration between leading education and family organisation to improve the flow of helpful information between home and school without increasing teacher workload 

Green

  • Ensuring that every child with Special Educational Needs or Disability has access to a mainstream education, in accordance with the UN Convention for Persons with Disabilities.

If you would like to read about the Nurture Group Network's manifesto, please click here.