Commenting on new research by Action for Children into the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on children's mental health, Sarah Hannafin, senior policy advisor for school leaders' union NAHT, said:
“School leaders are deeply concerned about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown may have had on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Throughout the pandemic schools have been engaging with specific pupils who need social and emotional support, and this will continue to be a priority next year.
“NAHT has worked in partnership with the Anna Freud Centre and the PSHE Association to create detailed practical guidance aiming to help school leaders and their staff, in all phases of education, support children and young people with their mental health and well-being in light of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Whilst schools will ensure that all pupils are supported as they return in September, we recognise there will be groups of children and young people for whom the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has created more serious levels of concern. These pupils may need additional, more targeted support and they will likely need more specialist help from health or social care services. These services were stretched before the pandemic and government must ensure their capacity is increased. It is vital that schools are able to access that support for their pupils quickly and that there is help available for parents too.”
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