Date lodged: 21 September 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that secondary schools have sufficient resources to provide support for pupils with mental health issues.
Answered by: John Swinney 28 September 2016
The Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) Act (Scotland) 2007 places a number of duties on local education authorities including ensuring that schools are health promoting. This includes promoting physical, social, mental and emotional wellbeing by supporting pupils to make positive lifestyle choices in relation to their health and wellbeing.
In addition, as part of Curriculum for Excellence, all practitioners are expected to embed aspects of health and wellbeing in their lessons, regardless of what subject specialism they are delivering. It is for the local authority and schools to decide how to develop their own approaches to implement Curriculum for Excellence and they will be using a range of approaches and resources to support children and young people with their mental and emotional wellbeing based on local needs and circumstances.
Education Scotland have developed a national resource to support the development and practice of nurturing approaches for secondary and primary schools. This aims to ensure that all schools are equipped to support all children and young people to have equal opportunities to learn and develop. Education Scotland is also supporting the delivery of ‘Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid: Young People’ training nationally in secondary school communities. This will complement the range of initiatives and approaches to support mental health and mental wellbeing that local authorities already have in place.
By working closely with schools, teachers and parents, as well as other professionals, educational psychologists have a key role in building capacity to meet the learning and mental health needs of pupils. In addition, every school has a named contact in specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) who can be contacted for advice if they have any concerns about a pupil and can provide ongoing support.