£17 million in mental health funding for schools

As part of Mental Health Awareness week, the government has announced more than £17 million to build on mental health support already available in education settings.

Up to 7,800 schools and colleges in England will be offered funding worth £9.5 million to train a senior mental health lead from their staff in the next academic year, part of the government’s commitment to offering this training to all state schools and colleges by 2025.

Funding also includes a new £7 million Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme, which provides free expert training, support and resources for staff dealing with children and young people experiencing additional pressures from the last year – including trauma, anxiety, or grief. The programme builds on the success of the Department for Education’s Wellbeing for Education Return, used by more than 90 per cent of councils since its launch last summer.

The Department for Education will also fund an adapted ‘Link’ programme which is designed to improve partnerships between health and education leaders in local areas, raise awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialist help when needed.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I know how difficult the pandemic has been for many children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and the next few months will be crucial in supporting their recovery. Getting back into the classroom was a vital step in this process but success in school and college goes beyond an excellent education – as parents we want our children to feel settled, calm and happy while they learn.

“That’s why we’re providing new funding to make experts available for support, advice and early intervention or specialist help, so every young person knows who and where to turn to as we build back better after the pandemic.”

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