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Schools 'should be focusing more on mental health and wellbeing'

06/04/2017 Joanna

arents and teachers believe that the current system of school education needs to be rebalanced to provide a great focus on mental health and wellbeing.

This is according to a report from the charity organisation YoungMinds, which polled a sample of parents and teachers and found that both groups believe that the current excessive focus on exam scores is coming at the expense of students' overall wellness.

Speaking to 1,003 parents, the charity revealed that three-quarters of those polled would choose a school where children are happy, even if previous exam results have not been good, while 92 per cent said they thought schools had a duty to support the wellbeing and mental health of students. Additionally, more than half said they wanted more information about what their child's school is doing to make progress on this front.

Meanwhile, a separate survey of teachers showed that 82 per cent agree that the focus on exams has become disproportionate compared to the wellbeing of students, with 70 per cent saying they think the government should rebalance the system to focus more on the latter.

It was also shown that 91 per cent of teachers are seeking greater recognition of the work they do to support wellbeing, while 71 per cent of teachers say that they would welcome a duty for schools to promote this issue.

Sarah Brennan, chief executive of YoungMinds, said: "Schools are critical in helping prevent mental health problems escalating, in building wellbeing and resilience and helping young people learn the skills they need to cope in today's world.

"Many schools are already doing excellent work, but too often they are hampered by competing pressures and a lack of resources. If the government is serious about tackling the crisis, it must rebalance the whole education system."

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