It's time to monitor our schoolchildren's emotional wellbeing.
This petition had 760 supporters
‘‘My seven year old son has an exam timetable for SATS. He hasn’t had a single night’s sleep since Easter and has had tummy issues all the time because of the stress of it.’’
Families are starting to share their stories of increasing anxiety among children of all ages about school. As parents we try to help them as best we can, but without the facts we can’t tackle this properly.
The last official survey of children’s mental health was in 2004. The next one is due in 2017, with others scheduled to follow every seven years: that’s a huge gap.
We want the government to work with parents and mental health professionals to monitor groups of children sensitively and anonymously on their journey through school and assess the impact of the pressures they are under. Screening questionnaires already exist and could be used to inform policy both now and in the future.
Successive governments have requested more and more data on our children’s academic progress, with ever more challenging tests and exams. Meanwhile a survey last year ranked English children as the most unhappy in Europe*, and the number of teenagers in England who self harm tripled in the last decade to 2014**. Experts have shown that stress in childhood changes the way the brain develops and has a lifelong impact.
The Fast Show actor and state school supporter Arabella Weir is backing our campaign. She says:
‘‘As a parent I have watched with dread the increasingly heavy pressure applied to testing children. It is often too much for them to cope with. We need to know just how big the problem is so that we can do something about it.’’
We need the government to monitor wellbeing because our children need more than just qualifications to be successful.
We want them to be well-rounded, inquisitive individuals and for that they need their emotions intact.
Please support our cause.
* - The Children's Society - The Good Childhood Report 2015 - See: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/19/english-children-among-unhappiest-world-widespread-bullying
** - WHO Collaborative Study 2014 - See: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/21/shock-figures-self-harm-england-teenagers
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