Schools should inspect mental health provision more frequently

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Secondary schools are facing a “perfect storm” of mental health problems and early intervention in schools should be a government priority, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

The report identifies four barriers to improvement, which – in addition to beefed-up inspections – include a lack of funding and schools’ mental health commissioning expertise, and the quality of school counselling services.

More specifically, it says secondary schools should receive one day per week of on-site mental health support from NHS specialists, rising to two days per week by 2022/23, which the government has said they agree with in principle.

However, the IPPR identifies cuts to mental health services as a problem, saying the value of the ‘early intervention’ allocation received by local authorities fell from £3.2 billion per year in 2010/11 to £1.4 billion in 2015/16.

The government has responded by saying the IPPR figures do not take into account the £1.4 billion investment over this parliament.

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