Survey reveals gaps in counselling offered by schools
Only half of teachers say their school can offer pupils on-site mental-health counselling in wake of pandemic, according to a new survey.
The survey by Teacher Tapp for a new report by the think tank IPPR found 48% of teachers said their schools offered on-site counselling, and just 37% reported parental support programmes.
And more than a third of teachers (38%) in the most deprived areas said their schools weren’t providing before-school clubs and more than half 53% said they didn’t provide parental support services.
According to the IPPR, the new survey suggests a decline in provision of these services over the last decade.
A DFE study in 2010 found that 91% and 86% of schools were providing access to on-site counselling and parental engagement services respectively.
IPPR’s report – The New Normal: The future of education after Covid-19 – argues that access to such services will be crucial to address the inequalities in children’s home-learning environment highlighted by the pandemic.
The survey shows more than two-thirds of state-school teachers agreeing that parental support services (77%) and on-site mental health services (also 77%) are key to improving attainment, while more than half also felt that regular after-school clubs (52%) are needed.
‘Many schools are unable to provide the support young people need to thrive,’ said the report’s lead author, Harry Quilter Pinner.
‘Without urgent government action to ensure every school can provide vital services such as counselling and after-school clubs there is a profound risk that the legacy of the pandemic will be even bigger educational and health inequalities.
‘The government has started to put in place some support for young people in the wake of the national lockdown. But it can and should go further: the pandemic should be seen as an opportunity to “build back better”. We must use this as a moment to “reset” our education system and address some of the longstanding weaknesses that pre-date the pandemic.’
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