Parents have concerns over children's mental health in schools

Our Annual Parent Survey, a study of parents and carers of school age children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, tracks parental attitudes on the key issues such as mental health to build a year-on-year picture of their child's emotional well-being.

Parents are increasingly telling us that their school’s high expectations are putting pressure on their child. Three in five parents are worried about their child’s emotional well-being and mental health at school. Feedback from parents shows that two in five children have experienced stress relating to homework and exams, while over a third have suffered from anxiety and bullying. 

John Jolly, CEO at Parentkind comments:
It is vitally important that parents' concerns around their child’s mental health at school are listened to and acted upon. Schools should not be expected to do the job of specialist mental health services, but they can play a huge role in building resilience in young people and creating a culture that prioritises well-being. Schools should ensure that parents have access to up-to-date resources and advice to help them support children with their mental health. Schools should consult with parents so they are involved in the decision-making process around how to best support a positive school experience for every child. Our ‘blueprint’ for parent-friendly schools provides a framework for parents to be part of the decision-making process in schools.

When parents were asked their top three attributes of a successful school, most said happiness (55%), followed by children enjoying learning (44%) and children learning positive behaviours such as resilience and self-confidence (41%).  At the same time, only a quarter of parents believed that being rated good or outstanding by school inspectors or having pupils achieve Government attainment targets was a sign of a successful school. 

John Jolly continues:
We will continue to monitor how mental health and well-being is perceived by parents as they overwhelmingly tell us that they would like to see mental health and well-being as a priority in the curriculum. We very much support the peer-to-peer support pilot for mental health run by the Department of Education as a much-needed step in the right direction to addressing parents' concerns.”

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