“Promoting physical and mental health in schools creates a virtuous circle reinforcing children’s attainment and achievement that in turn improves their wellbeing, enabling children to thrive and achieve their full potential”
Young people also have a mental health, and the reality is that they require support to enhance their emotional wellbeing and develop resiliency. A healthier mental health can create happier childhoods; enable young people to cope with their emotional experiences and internal worlds. Young people learning how to manage stress, anxiety and anger develop emotional resilience, which will enable them to engage better in their learning, attend to social relationships and embrace the new experiences they encounter.
Pre-adulthood is a crucial time for a child’s mental health. Beliefs about the world, self and others start to develop, and it is these healthy patterns of behaviour and thinking styles that can aid young people to achieve their aspirations. So by working with our future people to break the stigma, and by promoting the importance of emotional wellbeing can create a world where young people with emotional and mental health needs are supported to achieve their aspirations.
More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time (reference 2). By investing in early intervention services has a huge benefit for young people, families and society. It can save millions of pounds in future costs for the NHS, social care and criminal justice system.
What Does The Research Say?
Data extracted from: Public Health England, The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment.
- Academic success has a strong positive impact on children’s subjective sense of how good they feel their lives are (life satisfaction) and is linked to higher levels of wellbeing in adulthood (reference 4).
- Children’s overall level of wellbeing impacts on their behaviour and engagement in school, and their ability to acquire academic competence in the first place (ref 5).
- Successfully attaining GCSEs (five or more A*-C) is strongly associated with higher levels of life satisfaction among young people (reference 6).
- A UK study published by the Department for Education (DfE) found that pupil wellbeing predicted their later academic progression and engagement in school. For example, pupils with better emotional wellbeing at age seven had a value-added key stage 2 score 2.46 points higher (equivalent to more than one term’s progress) than pupils with poorer emotional wellbeing (reference 7).
- DfE research also found that pupils with better attention skills also make more progress across the four key stages. For example, pupils with no attention problems at age 13 had a total value-added GCSE score that was equivalent to more than one extra GCSE at grade A* (63.38 points higher) (reference 7).
- A systematic review of coordinated school health programmes (that promote health through explicit teaching in the curriculum and broader work to promote a healthier school environment) suggests positive effects on attainment (reference 8).
1. Quote From: Brooks F ( 2013). Chapter 7: Life stage: School Years, in Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2012: Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays, ed. Professor Dame Sally C Davies. London: DH.
2. Kim-Cohen, J., Caspi, A., Moffitt, TE., et al (2003). Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental disorder. Archives of general psychiatry, Vol 60, pp.709-717.
3. Brooks, F (2014). The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment: A briefing for head teachers, governors and staff in education setting. Public Health England. London.
4. Chanfrreau J., Lloyd C., Byron C., Roberts R., Craig, D., De Foe D & McManus S (2013). Predicting wellbeing. Prepared by NatCen Social Research for the Department of Health.
5. Buck S., Hillman C., & Castelli D (2008). The relation of aerobic fitness to Stroop task performance in preadolescent children Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40, 166-172
6, Department for Education (2011). Youth cohort study and longitudinal study of young people in England: The activities and experiences of 19-year olds: England 2010. London: Department of Education.
7. Gutman L & Vorhaus J ( 2012). The Impact of Pupil Behaviour and Wellbeing on Educational Outcomes. London: Department of Education.
8. Murray N., Low B., Hollis C., Cross A., & Davis S (2007). Coordinated school health programs and academic achievement: A systematic review of the literature. J Sch Health. 77:589-600.