One of the key challenges almost all local education authorities
(LEAs) face is the increase in the number of pupils with mental
health difficulties who are unable to cope in secondary schools,
says the schools inspection body Ofsted.
One in three LEAs do not have a satisfactory range of provision
for education pupils with special medical needs, the majority of
whom are suffering from anxiety, depression or phobias, says
In the best LEAs provision includes a home tuition service,
hospital teaching, adolescent psychiatric units and smaller units
within other schools where students with depression can study.
Ofsted found that the quality of teaching and learning for these
pupils is generally good, and that almost all pupils are pleased
with their education, but many of those with depression, anxiety
and phobias, and their parents, were concerned about the time they
spent at home before they received help.
Ofsted says all schools should appoint a named person
responsible for children who cannot attend because of their medical
In a third of LEAs there are not enough opportunities for these
pupils to work in group settings, so they are isolated at home for
too long. Because they seldom leave home the home tutor may be the
only contact outside the family.