The Coalition for Youth Mental Health in Schools: Wycombe Abbey Joins the Call for Reforms

Wycombe Abbey is pleased to be part of The Coalition for Youth Mental Health in Schools. The Coalition, made up of some of the country’s leading schools, has called for an overhaul of counselling and PSHE in secondary schools whilst also demanding a step change in the provision of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

We are pleased to stand with some of the most respected independent schools and highest performing multi-academy trusts in the state sector. They are: Alleyn’s School, Lady Eleanor Holles School, City of London School for Girls, David Ross Educational Trust, Eton College, Oasis Academies, Outwood Grange Academy Trust, Reach Academy Feltham, Star Academies, St Paul’s School, Wellington College and Westminster School.

This coalition was first brought together in the midst of the second lockdown and was a direct response to the challenge of coronavirus on the lives of all young people.

Public First’s report, which encompassed academic research, opinion polling and focus groups as well as expert witness evidence stated, “The Coalition has come together to make eight recommendations, which taken together it believes should be a minimum entitlement for all young people:

  1. The introduction of a nationally standardised framework for measuring and tracking outcomes for CAMHS across the country alongside increased funding.
  2. The government should accelerate its ambition to ensure every school has a designated mental health leader by 2023 by bringing forward the funds allocated for training by two years.
  3. The government should introduce a statutory requirement for every school staff member to receive appropriate mental health and wellbeing awareness training as part of annual safeguarding training.
  4. Schools should restrict mobile phone use during the academic school day and educate students on how to be safe online.
  5. All schools to teach at least one properly timetabled lesson of PSHE education each week.
  6. The government to invest £11.6 million pounds a year from 2023 into a new ITT route to ensure every secondary school in England has a specialist trained PSHE teacher by 2030.
  7. The government should centrally fund a school counsellor in every school.
  8. A new apprenticeship trailblazer route to increase the diversity of school counsellors.”

At Wycombe Abbey, the mental health of our pupils is very important to us, and we strive to make sure they have the support as and when they need it. Our wellbeing provision helps provide pastoral support which puts the needs of the girls first whilst nurturing them to be flexible and creative, think critically and communicate ideas as well as work together and independently respecting themselves and others.

Mrs Jo Duncan, Headmistress said, “We are pleased to have been involved in this project and to contribute to this agenda which, post-pandemic, has never been more relevant.”

 Click here for more information and to read the full report