Sud the lot: we lost a great deal in the latest wash-up

23rd April 2010 at 01:00

YoungMinds, the voice for young people's mental health and well-being, has written to shadow schools secretary Michael Gove to express our concerns about the Conservatives' announcements this month in regards to children and young people.

These include the plans to remove the obligation for local areas to set up children's trusts and publish children and young people's plans, and to shrink the criteria on which Ofsted inspects schools from 18 to four, with focus on teaching and learning.

We are also concerned by the party's actions during the wash-up of the Children, Schools and Families Bill that led to the abandonment of compulsory PSHE from the school curriculum.

PSHE equips young people with the skills to deal with their emotions and the pressures facing today's young people. Without it young people will be at more risk of emotional and mental health problems, which already affect three young people in every classroom.

While it is a teacher's role to educate and ensure that high learning standards are met, without addressing the issues surrounding a student's behaviour, teaching can often become impossible. Investing in our young people's emotional health through PSHE will ensure problems are picked up and addressed early, preventing them from becoming long-term, serious conditions that cost the NHS, prison system and social services billions of pounds each year.

Proposals to scrap children's trusts and children and young people's plans are an indication that the well-being of children is not being taking seriously.

Similiarly, shrinking the Ofsted criteria can only mean the focus on well-being in schools will diminish.

Sarah Brennan, Chief executive, YoungMinds.

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