MPs to hold inquiry into school mental health support plans

The government’s proposals for additional mental health support for school pupils are to be scrutinised in an inquiry by MPs.

The parliamentary education and health committees will hold a joint inquiry into the plans set out in the government’s green paper earlier this month.

The committee will begin holding hearings in January.

Under proposals set out in the government’s consultation, schools will get funding to train “mental health leads”, and also receive support from local mental health support teams, as part of a £300 million investment.

Pupils will also be taught about mental health in the classroom, and certain treatments, like cognitive behavioural therapy, will be provided in schools.

“There is a growing prevalence of mental ill health among children and young people,” said education committee chair Robert Halfon.

“Schools, colleges and universities have an important role to play in supporting young people with mental health concerns and promoting well-being. Government has a significant role to play too.”

Halfon said the inquiry would look at the measures in the consultation, and in particular at the resources allocated to schools to help “deliver support on the front line”.

“What considerations are there regarding placing mental health professionals in schools? What does it offer to ensure pupils and students are making better-informed choices about social media use? In our evidence sessions we will be seeking answers to these questions.”

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