The Duchess of Cambridge has praised teachers for the “vital” role they play in shaping pupils’ lives and called for more support for their wellbeing.
Speaking at the Mental Health in Education conference, she said teachers played a key role in helping children to develop at the most important point in their lives.
Earlier she held discussions with headteachers, Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman and other leading education experts.
Resources: Toolkit for mentally healthy schools
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“What you’ve all been discussing here today really brings to life the vital role that teachers are playing in supporting our youngest children’s mental health,” the Duchess told the conference in London’s Mercer’s Hall.
“Over the last eight years working with charities, I’ve met some of our leading experts in mental health, addiction, family breakdown, homelessness and education.
"They have taught me over and over again that the root cause of so many of today’s social problems can be traced right back to the very earliest years of a person’s life - and often over generations.
“The scientific and other evidence is clear: the first few years of a child’s life are more pivotal for development and for future health and happiness than any other single moment in our lifetime.
"It is also clear that the positive development of our children is directly linked to those who care for them: teachers, carers and parents.
“And as we’ve heard today, it is therefore vital that we support teachers with their own wellbeing so that they can provide the best level of care for all children in their schools and communities in which they work.”
Today’s conference brought together experts from education and mental health to discuss what can be done to tackle wellbeing issues in schools.
The Duchess has long been a longtime advocate for both mental health and young people’s issues, and The Royal Foundation was one of the supporters of today’s event.