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Education Law

Expert commentary, cases and guidance

16 JUN 2014

Mental health and behaviour in schools

Mental health and behaviour in schools

The Department for Education has issued guidance on how to identify and support school pupils whose behaviour suggests they may have unmet mental health needs.

The advice is aimed at schools and includes:

  • how and when to refer to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS);
  • practical advice to support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties;
  • strengthening pupil resilience;
  • tools to identify pupils for likely to need extra support; and
  • where/how to access community support.

One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems. Schools say that this is a difficult area. They want to know what the evidence says, share approaches to supporting children at risk of developing mental health problems and be clearer on their own and others’ responsibilities.

This non-statutory advice clarifies the responsibility of the school, outlines what it can do and how to support a child or young person whose behaviour - whether it is disruptive, withdrawn, anxious, depressed or otherwise - may be related to an unmet mental health need.

Click here to download the full guidance.

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