The final part of the annual State of Education survey carried out by the National Education Union (NEU) in March 2021 includes the opinions of over 10,000 school staff on the mental health needs of their pupils. The results point to a significant increase in need within our schools:
- 78% of those surveyed reported that mental health issues among children and young people have increased in past year, with 34% of respondents saying they had “increased greatly”.
- 62% believe the mental health needs of young people is being treated as a low priority by the Government.
- 66% of respondents felt the pressure to prioritise academic curriculum ‘catch up’ was coming at the expense of supporting students’ mental health. It was also suggested that this is made worse by a lack of access to support services and sufficient staff.
Dr Mary Bousted, NEU Joint General Secretary stated:
“The disruption to life, to play, to sport, to everyday social interaction, has been stark. The message from education staff is clear – government has got to recognise that the wellbeing of young people is just as vital as their learning, and that wellbeing impacts significantly on learning.”