Commenting on the publication by the Children’s Commissioner for England of the third annual children’s mental health briefing, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“The findings of this report are further evidence of the chronic underfunding of children’s mental health services and the lack of available support for so many children and young people who need it.

“We agree with the Children’s Commissioner’s analysis that the Government plans are not ambitious enough to ensure that we have a mental health system that meets the needs of all children.  The Green Paper proposals  - ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s mental health Provision’ - still leaves many children and young people without the necessary provision and does not address the cuts to schools that have led to a decimation of the pastoral support schools should provide, including onsite counsellors, making it increasingly difficult to provide personalised support.

“There is a clear need to end the postcode lottery of provision and ensure there is a comprehensive and joined up approach to mental health support in every area.  Schools have a role to play and must be part of the strategy to address the current lack of both specialist and low-level mental health services for children and young people.

“For schools to provide the best possible support for children and young people experiencing low level mental health problems, there needs to be sufficient funding and resources in place both within and outside the school.”