Significant increase in school support to parents on mental health

A survey of independent school heads has shown many schools spend a “significant amount of time” supporting the needs of parents whose children have mental health issues

A new survey has found that 30% of schools say they are now spending a significant amount of time supporting the needs of parents whose children have welfare and mental health issues.

A further 49% of schools acknowledge that they are spending a ‘reasonable amount’ doing so.

The survey was carried out by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference’s (HMC) Wellbeing Working Group, with nearly 200 independent school heads responding.

71% of HMC schools have increased their provision of courses and information sessions on mental health over the past four years. 17% of them significantly so, with 97% of schools now providing such support.

71% of HMC schools have increased their provision of courses and information sessions on mental health over the past four years

“There is evidence that parents are increasingly valuing opportunities offered by schools to support them with the ever-more complex task of bringing up young people,” said Chris Jeffery, chair of the HMC Wellbeing Working Group and headmaster of Bootham School.

He continued: “While parents are the experts in their own children, they recognise that the combined experience of the staff in our schools caring for many thousands of young people over very many years provides an invaluable expertise in helping young people in general. What may seem a crisis or an insurmountable issue within a single family will rarely be beyond the experience of a school.”

Bootham School runs a programme of Saturday morning events, involving two seven-week parenting courses aimed at different year groups and open forums to discuss issues. Topics discussed previously include ways parents can support children with the pressure of exams, what the right physical environment is for study and developing healthy autonomy.


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