Skip to content

Anna Freud reacts to new reports on barriers children face to education

Our statement in response to two recent publications.

Module 3 (4)

In response to new research from Action for Children revealing that challenges outside of school are impacting nine pupils in every class and a report from the Centre for Mental Health on the impact of mental health challenges on school attendance, Jaime Smith MBE, Director of Schools at Anna Freud, said:

“We welcome these two important publications that highlight the complex barriers to education many children face, from difficult family environments and poverty to mental health problems. As outlined in our new manifesto, we want to see a renewed focus on early intervention and prevention to help tackle these challenges.

“This includes increased funding for preventative mental health programmes in schools and colleges to address problems before they escalate. Another vital step is the creation of a more inclusive education system that, alongside academic achievement, values social, emotional and physical development. As part of this, it's important to recognise that not everyone experiences school in the same way, and the voices of all students need to be heard to help create a positive and safe environment.

“We also know that action is needed outside of the school gates to create a solid foundation of mental wellbeing for children and young people. Increased funding for community-based services, like Family hubs, along with early interventions catered for and delivered with marginalised groups are needed to help the next generation achieve their potential.”