60 petitions

Update posted 19 hours ago

Petition to UK Parliament, Theresa May MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Matt Hancock MP, Nick Gibb MP

Save our students. Make Mental Health First Aid a compulsory part of teacher training

In January 2018, I lost my younger brother, Sam, to suicide. He was just 15. While I sat on my bed that Sunday evening, little did I know that only a few metres away from me my brother was about to take his own life. I heard screams through the headphones and ran upstairs at 21:30. I carried out emergency resuscitation for almost half an hour before the mass of emergency services arrived.  No one should ever have to experience the loss and confusion of losing someone to suicide and I hope that, with your help, this petition can save at least one family the awful pain I've had to and continue to face. As part of research into ways of helping young people suffering with mental health conditions in schools we found that staff are generally not equipped to deal with problems faced by some students as they don't have the knowledge to do so. The same would apply if we consider physical injuries, teachers without training wouldn't know what to do with or how to spot a concussion for example. Therefore, to protect the students, most schools train a number of staff in first aid and almost all have basic understanding of the practise. On the contrary, very little staff members, and in some cases, no staff, have mental health first aid training of any degree. That's why I'm calling on the government to train teachers in mental health first aid too. Mental health first aid would be a very cheap and easy to run session which outlines potential problems faced by students and offers guidance to staff on what to do immediately (i.e. don't ignore the student). It would also advise staff on who to contact about the student to start putting into place the support they need as quickly as possible.  There are so many teachers who are capable of dealing with physical medical emergencies, it’s about time that the same can be said for dealing with mental crises as well. The government's current plan states that they want one mental health unit or specialist first aider per school. My argument is that most schools have a single specialist physical first aider as well as having a mass of teachers with knowledge of first aid. I don't think an epicentre of help is the right way of dealing with this issue, instead we should use the philosophy that all my campaigns are built on, universal knowledge, universal acceptance and universal support.  Making the training compulsory may seem excessive at first glance but we now live in an age where three students per class have a diagnosable mental health condition [1]. There are over 200 schoolchildren lost to suicide every year [2]. And the rates of depression and anxiety in young people have increased by 70% in the last 25 years [3]. So, I wholeheartedly believe, this isn't an excessive measure to be taking, it's a desperate one.  Please sign and share my petition. Visit our Instagram pages - @iambenwest and @team_walk2talk [1] [2] [3]

Ben West
183,116 supporters
This petition won 1 month ago

Petition to Oxford City Council

Oxford Needs The Swan School

Oxford City is facing a secondary school places crisis. Existing schools are full to capacity and have accepted additional students in recent years as a short term emergency measure. The government's Education Funding Authority reviewed 30 sites across Oxford and last year decided upon a site in Marston to build Oxford's brand new secondary school (the first built since the 60's) - The Swan School. In a shock decision on 5th Sept, the City Council's Planning Committee went against the advice from the Planning and Education experts and voted against the plans for the school building (a majority of 4 Councillors to 3 voted against). The main reasons being it was building on the green belt and the school entrance cuts across the cycle track on the Marston Ferry Rd. Although we all agree it is a shame to have to build on green belt land, Natural England and the Environment Agency approved the plans after their review. Further, the Oxford City planning officers decided that although they recognised the impact on the green belt - the urgent need for school places outweighed these concerns. We are avid cyclists and use the cycle track on the MFR - some of us have older children who cycle there daily to Cherwell school. So we have studied the proposed plans carefully to satisfy ourselves that the measures to ensure safety are satisfactory. These include cyclists retain right of way at all times, staff cannot enter the site in cars after 8am, only those with authorisation can enter by car (eg disabled staff/students). The Swan day is timed to run 9.15 - 4.45 in order not to clash with Cherwell. They also plan to use a warden during busy times and a barrier will be in place so the vehicle entrance will be completely closed during Cherwell and Swan start and end times. We are satisfied that these measures will ensure safety for all and cause less interference than the existing cut-through at the Summertown end of the cycle path into Cherwell South site and playing fields. We believe any minor inconvenience of the new arrangements is outweighed by the need for local school places.  This decision to reject the plans was made with no Plan b as to where our children will go to school. Currently some Marston children are being bussed to schools in Cowley and Blackbird Leys, as Cherwell and Cheney Schools are full. This problem is only set to worsen in coming years as predictions show a surge of secondary starters in 2019 (the year the Swan is due to open) and another even greater surge in 2021 (current Year 4 pupils) - by which point they literally may not have an Oxford secondary school place to go to as it is predicted an additional 144 places will be needed. Although Marston and Jericho are most heavily affected, all Oxford city schools feel the impact of the squeeze. We have a chance to get this decision overturned by the Planning Review Committee on the 15th October. Please sign this petition so we can show Oxford City Council how much local families want and need this new secondary school in Oxford. Thanks - from a group of Marston families

Tessa Clayton
1,061 supporters