Mental health and wellbeing in education report — October 2022

Over the years, we’ve regularly polled those in a parenting role to gather their views on mental health and wellbeing issues in education. This report has looked at mental health and wellbeing from a parent’s perspective.

Key themes 

  • Since 2018, there has been a constant trend of parental concern about emotional well-being and mental health issues (particularly anxiety in 2021), bullying and cyber-bullying.
  • The mental health issue parents were most concerned about was exam stress, with over half of parents (55%) stating they were most concerned about this. The next top concern for parents was their child suffering with anxiety (54%), followed by homework related stress (49%).
  • Since 2020, there has been an increase in the number of parents reporting childhood experiences of bullying, cyber-bullying, the pressure to engage constantly with social media and self-harm.
  • The later the school phase, the higher the likelihood parents have reported that their child has experienced a mental health issue.
  • Parents of children from diverse backgrounds, parents who had a disability and parents of children with SEND were all more likely to report that their child had suffered from all the mental health issues we asked about, compared to their counterparts.
  • Children ranged from 10–13 years old when they shared with parents that they were experiencing mental health issues.
  • Parents were least satisfied about the support around bullying, depression, self-harm and cyber-bullying. Support also needs to be provided to parents to help them deal with the mental health of their children and their own mental health too.
  • The cost of living crisis has impacted the mental health of both parents and their children. The majority of parents in 2021 (73%) said they thought the cost of sending children to school is increasing. Almost half (49%) of parents said they were concerned about the cost of sending children to school. 
  • Parents of diverse backgrounds were more likely to think the cost of sending children to school is increasing – who will inevitably be the groups hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.


  • Parentkind’s Annual Parent Survey showed that 33% of parents thought the curriculum did not focus enough on developing good mental health and wellbeing for children. Including topics around bullying and mental health and wellbeing in the school curriculum would be extremely beneficial for children. 
  • Parents want additional funding to be spent on child mental health services in school – with parents selecting this as one of their top three issues. Parents want to see more mental health support workers embedded in schools to provide timely support, professional age-appropriate counselling services and regular discussion of mental health issues in wider school life to help bring difficult issues out into the open.
  • More consideration needs to be given to the mental health impact of the cost of living crisis. Parents’ mental health is being impacted as a result of the cost of living crisis, and more support is needed for parents urgently.

Download the report