Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has attended YoungMinds’ Wise up and Act: prioritising wellbeing in schools reception, to support the mental health charity’s recent campaign.

The charity, which has been campaigning on wellbeing in schools through its Wise Up campaign, is encouraging young people, school staff, parents and members of the public to take part in the consultation and #TellOfsted what they think makes a school ‘outstanding’.

At the reception in Parliament, which took place on 4th March, Giles heard about research from YoungMinds, which has found that:

  • Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem, with many more going through times when they struggle to cope
  • 95% of teachers said they had taught a child who they believe is experiencing anxiety
  • 83% of teachers do not believe that teachers have sufficient support for their own wellbeing and mental health
  • 81% of young people said that they would like their school or college to teach them more about mental health
  • 48% of young people struggling with their mental health sought help from their teachers (most commonly cited professional)

Giles said:

“At the moment, on average, three children in every classroom will be struggling with a mental health problem. My constituents often tell me what a big issue children and young people’s mental health is for them and their families, which is why I’m glad to support YoungMinds’ campaign and will tell Ofsted to make wellbeing a priority.”

Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said:

“We’re delighted to have the support of [your name] MP for our #Tell Ofsted campaign. Many schools and teachers do great work to support young people’s wellbeing, but, sadly, the current inspection framework doesn’t place enough value on this. And so when schools have to make difficult decisions about how to spend their limited budgets, it can be hard for them to make wellbeing a priority.

“There are some welcome improvements in Ofsted’s new proposed framework, but there also areas which need strengthening to ensure that student wellbeing is a crucial part of the education system.”