Welfare plans for pupils welcomed

CMH“We have a mental health crisis with our young people – here in Harrow and around the country. Counselling is a valuable tool in helping young people to be more resilient, stay out of trouble and build healthier, happier relationships” said Pamela Fitzpatrick, Harrow East Labour candidate, in welcoming Labour plans for a counsellor in every secondary schools, including in Harrow.
To deliver real change for young people’s mental health, Labour has pledged an additional £845 million per year for a Healthy Young Minds plan to recruit almost 3,500 qualified, on-site secondary school counsellors to ensure accessible pathways to mental health support.
“This is what real change for young people looks like – and it’s what the next Labour government will deliver” Pamela Fitzpatrick added.
Announcing the Healthy Young Minds plan, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “As a country, we have to start treating mental health as seriously as physical health. If we don’t help our young people, we are not only failing them, but storing up problems for the future for a whole generation”.
The number of children experiencing mental health problems is increasing, with one in eight 5 to 19 year olds diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder in 2017. An estimated 95 per cent of teachers believe that they have taught a child experiencing anxiety, while 60 per cent believe that at least one of the children they have taught are self-harming.
Researcher for the Harrow Monitoring Group who is a retired inspector of schools, inspecting for Ofsted, said, “good pastoral care arrangements in schools helpfully supplement academic care – it can only be good for the schools to have in house professional counselling”.
Regarding the other aspects of children welfare, Labour will provide 30 hours of free childcare to all 2 to 4 year olds, open 1000 new Sure Start centres, cut class sizes for all 5, 6 and 7 year olds, scrap SATs for key stage 1 and 2 and provide free school meals to all primary school children.
The  Institute for Fiscal Studies research found that where Sure Start offered high levels of service in poor neighbourhoods in England, visits to hospital to treat injuries fell among all children of primary school age, and by a third of all 11-year-olds.