nurtureuk responds to Theresa May’s mental health announcement

17 June 2019

Responding to the announcements today of a package of measures to help tackle mental health issues including training for all new teachers on how to spot the signs of mental health issues, national charity nurtureuk’s Chief Executive Kevin Kibble released this statement:

“We welcome any additional focus on identifying the social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs of children and young people in particular the commitment to update statutory guidance to make clear schools’ responsibilities to protect children’s mental wellbeing. However, we want to see teachers supported to do this with access to recognised tools in the classroom to enable them to identify each child’s SEMH needs. The Boxall Profile is already the most used tool in schools to understand the wellbeing and support needs of their pupils (Department for Education, 2017, Supporting mental health in schools and colleges: Quantitative survey) and was recently highlighted in the Department for Education’s 2018 Mental health and behaviour in schools advice. We believe every school should use it with every pupil.

In our Now you see us report, published last month we shared the findings of piloting the use of the Boxall Profile with every child in school, conducted across four terms in 25 primary schools in England. Teachers in the pilot used the Boxall Profile to assess the SEMH needs of more than 6,800 pupils, and 92% of schools that successfully assessed all their pupils using the Boxall Profile found it very valuable and would recommend other schools do the same.

It is not just access to tools to help identify SEMH need, schools need to be resourced sufficiently to put in place the support necessary to address them. As part of our “Now you see us” research we found that if support was put in place following assessment, there was a 23% increase in the number of pupils who had no apparent SEMH needs after five months.

Effective tools to support teachers to identify children’s SEMH needs are already being used by schools across the country. We hope this focus on mental health training for new teachers will include access to Boxall Profile training so that every child’s SEMH needs can be identified, and, vitally, that schools will be sufficiently resourced to put in place the support they identify children as needing.”