“The National Education Union shares the concerns of the Chief Medical Officer about the rising rate of mental health problems amongst children and young people. It is important that children and young people know how to keep safe online and how to manage social media and screen time. Schools can play an important role by teaching about internet and online safety through relationships and sex education and health education. This content should be balanced with information on the positives of using the internet and social media and encouraging critical digital literacy amongst children and young people.

“What is also an absolute necessity is for child mental health services to be fully funded and resourced. Schools cannot cope with complex mental health issues alone and need the support of a fully funded and accessible child mental health services. It is a disgrace the way this vital service has been cut to the bone leaving children, families and schools facing excessively long waiting times.”