Teachers face significant barriers to addressing emotional health in education survey finds. The Fair Education Alliance warns new government not to drop this agenda

The Fair Education Alliance (FEA) - which represents over 85 leading business, education and voluntary organisations - today publishes a new report, Reflections on Emotional Health, Wellbeing and Character in Schools,

The report identifies some of the reasons why emotional health remains a significant issue in the education system, where there is existing good practice, and provides support for school staff and policy makers to take action.

The group’s report follows their survey of 500 school staff about social and emotional health in education, highlighting the need for action. The key findings were:

  • Insufficient time (71%) and a lack of available budget (59%) were cited as the biggest barriers to addressing Social and Emotional wellbeing in schools.
  • 94% thought it was very important to identify children who require specialist support for wellbeing or social and emotional development.
  • Having clear next steps for pupil development (83%) and being easy to use (70%) were identified as being the key priorities for social and emotional wellbeing measurements.

Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College, commented:

"This report marks the start of an important project that considers a whole-school approach to improving children's health and wellbeing. Young people's time at school often marks such a formative period in life and therefore it is important that teachers and school leaders can work together to help develop our children to become more confident and resilient citizens for the future. I look forward to following the Fair Education Alliance's work in this area."

Bea Stevenson, Co-Chair of the FEA’s wellbeing group, commented:

“We recognise the importance of ensuring that children’s emotional health not only remains high on the policy agenda but also that schools and practitioners are given the support they need to implement change. We hope that this report supports both these aims and are committed to working in cross sector partnership to embed understanding and good practice across the school system.”

Jennifer Shearman, Senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and contributor to the report, said:

“This report showcases the power of cross-sector mobilisation to send a strong message about educating the whole person.  Here academics, university professors, corporate leaders and leading third sectors organisations speak with one voice about why addressing emotional health in all children is so important, and how it can be achieved. We are committed to making policy change a priority through our collaboration and partnership.”