"Three-quarters of parents say children should learn more about mental health and wellbeing at school"
Survey by GDST and Mumsnet
Wellbeing survey from the Girls' Day School Trust in partnership with Mumsnet
As Philip Hammond used the 2018 Budget to announce funding for mental health crisis teams for children and young people, and following the announcement that all schools in England will need to include mental wellbeing and resilience in the curriculum from 2020, a survey of over 1,500 parents for Mumsnet and the GDST explored parents’ concerns about school pupils’ wellbeing.
An emphatic three-quarters (73%) of respondents said they wwanted their children to learn more about mental health and wellbeing at school. This compared with 61% who wanted their children to learn more about personal finances, and 53% who wanted their children to learn more about online safety.
‘Mental health and wellbeing’ ranked as survey respondents’ biggest concern when it came to the future health and happiness of their children, cited by 68% – more than worried about ‘finding good friends and partners’ (54%) or ‘economic instability’ (29%). 90% said that ‘being personally happy and fulfilled’ is their greatest hope for their child in adulthood.
Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts said:
“Of course parents want their children to do well, but more than that, they want them to be happy and to feel good in the world. It’s heartening to see government and schools taking this issue seriously; as a country we need to get better at supporting children’s wellbeing - perhaps by making a greater effort to model resilience ourselves.”
Cheryl Giovannoni, GDST Chief Executive, said:
“Parents want academic excellence, but they (and we) should expect so much more from education. At the GDST, we pride ourselves on helping girls to be confident, resilient and fearless, in an environment where they are encouraged to learn without limits and are provided with outstanding pastoral support.
“Today, we have much more understanding about mental health and our own wellbeing. We have launched the Positive Programme in all our schools, which gives girls of all ages, along with their teachers, the tools to help understand and nurture their own wellbeing and to deal with challenging situations when they come. We aim to create a positive environment when it comes to mental health. Teaching these skills at a young age will really set our girls up for life, and in that respect, are just as important as other skills you will learn at school.”