School mental health leads programme launches

The government’s delayed programme to train mental health leads to support school pupils gets underway this month, four years after the idea was first mooted. The five-year programme was put forward in the government’s 2017 green paper on transforming young people’s mental health provision. But it emerged that the initiative had been paused in January 2020, two months ahead of the start of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department for Education has announced that from this month schools and colleges will be able to apply for a £1,200 grant to train mental health leads in schools and “enable school leaders to gain the knowledge and skills” to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of pupils. Training will focus on using mental health resources, identifying pupils in need of help and improve partnerships with local mental health services. The programme is backed by £9.5m in funding, which was announced in May, and aims to roll out to all state schools and colleges by 2025. Read more.