On 5 December 2017, the DfE sent out the following update e-mail:

From: IMPLEMENTATION, SEN <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 5 December 2017 at 12:01
Subject: Updates from the Department for Education and Department for Health


In this update we have included:

  1. An invitation to respond to the consultation on mental health launched in a green paper published yesterday by the Department for Health and the Department for Education.
  2. Details of a consultation on raising concerns and making complaints about health, social care or education. This involves a survey for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both, their families and paid carers.
  3. Details of recommendations for the UK made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Please do forward this email onto anyone in your organisation or networks who you think might have an interest in these developments.

1. An invitation to respond to the consultation on mental health from the Department for Health and the Department for Education in a green paper

Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper; with the consultation mini-site at https://engage.dh.gov.uk/youngmentalhealth/. Please do let us have your views by submitting a response to the consultation. The deadline for replies is 2 March 2018.

The text of a Written Ministerial Statement announcing the publication is at http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-12-04/HCWS306/.

The press release below contains further details.



  • New measures signal a fundamental shift in mental health support, with over £300 million funding available
  • Training for senior designated mental health leads in schools to improve prevention work
  • Earlier access to services through the creation of new Mental Health Support Teams working in and directly with schools
  • New four week waiting time for NHS children and young people’s mental health services to be piloted

Children in England will be able to access mental health support at school or college under Government proposals to transform services for young people. The Government [on 4 December] set out ambitious plans in a green paper to increase mental health support and provide earlier access to services, with over £300 million funding available to take the proposals forward.

The announcement delivers on the Government’s manifesto commitment to a green paper focussed on action to support the mental health of children and young people. As the Prime Minister has set out, this is one of the burning injustices which holds people back from achieving their true potential.

 Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

"Around half of all mental illness starts before the age of 14 so it is vital children get support as soon as they need it - in the classroom. If we catch mental ill health early we can treat it and stop it turning into something more serious.

"These ambitious new plans will work with schools to make sure this happens, as well as reducing waiting times for the most severe cases."

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

“We want every young person to grow up feeling confident about themselves and their future - but too often mental health issues can have a lifelong impact and affect their performance at school, careers and ultimately their life opportunities

“There are great examples of schools and colleges across the country already playing a vital role in supporting students’ wellbeing and mental health. We want that kind of excellence to become the norm and these proposals will help deliver that by strengthening the links between schools and the experts who can give young people the support they need.”

Under the plans every school and college in England will be incentivised to appoint a designated senior lead for mental health to co-ordinate existing school-based support as well as helping children to access specialist therapies and other NHS treatments if they need them.

Supported by a training package of up to £95 million from 2019, the senior leads will also be responsible for developing a “whole school approach” to mental health and wellbeing – including making sure pastoral support is available for all pupils and that strong policies are in place to reduce bullying and other behaviours that can cause mental distress.

A further £215 million will be available to create new Mental Health Support Teams which will improve join-up between schools and the NHS. The teams will provide a wider range of support and treatments in or near schools and colleges, to improve earlier intervention to so mental health problems can be addressed before they become too serious. Several thousand people are expected to be recruited over the next five years to form these new teams, which could be trained to offer Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments in the classroom.

Supervised by clinicians they will also work closely with educational psychologists, school nurses, counsellors, social workers and others to assess and refer children for other specialist treatments if necessary.

Other measures set out in the Green Paper include:

  • Ensuring every primary and secondary school in the country is offered mental health awareness training.
  • Ensuring teaching all pupils about mental health and wellbeing is a focus of our work to improve the quality of relationships education and PSHE.
  • A new working group to look at mental health support for 16-25 year olds.
  • Commissioning further research to fill evidence gaps across children’s mental health, including understanding how better to support vulnerable families.

The consultation on the green paper will run for approximately 13 weeks. The Department of Health and Department for Education will run a number of roundtables and focus groups to ensure maximum engagement.

 Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said

"We're facing a mental health crisis in our classrooms, and right now far too many children are not getting the support that they need. Too often we hear from young people who have started to self-harm, become suicidal, or dropped out of school while waiting for the right help.

"We are very pleased to see the Government recognise the fundamental importance that schools play in building resilience of their pupils and intervening early when problems do emerge. So we welcome the green paper's proposals to introduce mental health leads in every school, as well as mental health support teams to offer support within schools as early as possible.

"The ambition for a four week waiting time is also welcome. Long waits have a devastating impact on young people and their families, and currently only one in four young people with mental health problems get the help they need. Now it is crucial that services are given the resource to match the true scale of need, so that all children and young people in need of mental health support are able to get it."

2. Consultation on raising concerns and making complaints about health, social care or education

The Department for Health has also launched a survey of the views of children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both, their families and paid carers about people’s experiences of raising concerns and making complaints. This closes on 12 January 2018.

For further details please see the attached flyer and the consultation site https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/ask-listen-do/.

3. Recommendations for the UK made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded its Periodic Examination of the UK’s compliance with the Convention in the summer. The Committee’s Concluding Observations can be found at http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRPD%2fC%2fGBR%2fCO%2f1&Lang=en.

Recommendations relating specifically to education are at paragraphs 20, 21 and 46-53.