National Schools Survey: mental health services are poor

Local services still fail to meet the mental health needs of children and young people, according to the annual National School Survey.

The Audit Commission’s survey found that no major improvements had been made since the issue was highlighted in the 2006 survey.

Last year’s survey revealed that 40% of schools felt the effectiveness of local services to meet the mental health needs of pupils was less than satisfactory.

Just over one-third of schools rated local services as being below average when they attempted to prevent and stop anti-social behaviour.
And just under one-third of schools said local services were below average when helping families who risked harming or neglecting their child, or providing for pupils outside of mainstream schools.

However, schools did rate 94% of the 82 areas covered by the survey as satisfactory or above; a 6% increase on last year.

Chief concerns

Similar to last year’s results, the majority of schools placed child protection and support to improve schools at the top of their concerns. 

It found that 96% of schools rated child protection training, advice and support through the council as satisfactory or above.  And 95% of respondents, in the survey of 5,595 schools, said the council was effective in challenging the school to perform better.

Despite the positive ratings, the Commission said it was disappointed that no improvement had been made to mental health services.

Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, said he had concerns over the lack of support and services offered to vulnerable children and young people.

“It is important that those requiring mental health support…receive help in a timely and effective manner,” said Bundred.

More information

Audit Commission’s national school survey

Lords call for amendment to Children and Young Persons Bill

Youth Justice Board unveils Frances Done as new chair

Essential information on inspection and regulation


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