The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, has today given his Autumn Budget speech which he says is for the 'strivers, grafters, and the carers'.
- Mental health funding will be increased by more than £2bn a year by 2023-24
- Schools in England will receive £400m to help with the 'little extras'. An average of £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school.
Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, commented on the plans to increase funding for mental health ahead of the NHS Plan being published and plans for a one off capital payment for primary and secondary schools in England.
“We are pleased to see the Chancellor of the Exchequer pledging support to address the decline of children’s mental health and tightening school budgets in today’s budget, but I really don’t think we have yet gone far enough to reverse the current decline in this area and the overall wellbeing of this generation.
We know from the evidence base that young people today are struggling to survive, let alone thrive in the complex context they live within. We hear frequently from schools how declining mental health is a serious barrier to educational achievement and so this is not only a health issue. It is our belief that these issues demand proactive, preventative approaches to mental health rather than just increasing investment in addressing the symptoms when they arise.
“At the Youth Sport Trust, we believe part of the solution is relatively straightforward and very cost effective – giving young people more opportunity to be active, be outdoors and enjoy the benefits that come from playing sport. That’s why we are championing a transformed and reimagined physical education and school sport programme that is intrinsically linked to PHSE and wider health education.
“We know from the work our members schools have done repositioning the work of their physical education department and the pilot we are part of in Greater Manchester there is another more sustainable and impactful way forward which should be embraced.”
About the Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools Pilot:
The Youth Sport Trust partnered with Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Alliance for Learning, Place2Be and 42nd Street to provide a comprehensive package of support for schools. The project embraced a whole system approach combining high quality CPD for leadership teams in schools, ‘Mental Health First Aid’ training for staff and students, using physical activity, life skills and athlete mentors to year 6 and year 11 students with follow-up targeted student groups and Young Health Ambassadors given the opportunity to shape future provision in their schools.