Our major new campaign, Wise Up, calls on the Government to rebalance the education system so that the wellbeing of students is as important as academic achievement.
There is a mental health crisis in our classrooms. 3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental disorder and 90% of school leaders have reported an increase in the last 5 years in the number of students experiencing anxiety, stress, low mood or depression.
Children and young people are facing more pressures than ever before, including exam pressure, social media and cyber-bullying and pressure over body image.
Schools play a crucial role in developing the skills young people need to cope and flourish in today’s world. They are a constant in young peoples’ lives, and are a safe, consistent place for vulnerable young people.
As well as this, children with better health and wellbeing are likely to perform better academically.
But the education system is unbalanced, with an over-emphasis on exams and a lack of priority on student wellbeing.
Schools are overwhelmingly judged on their academic achievement, and the pastoral care element of teaching receives little prominence in policy or inspections. They are under significant funding pressures and therefore many struggle to divert resource towards wellbeing initiatives, even when they want it to be a priority.
We are delighted to be working with the National Children’s Bureau on this campaign.
Did you know?
Our recent research, conducted through YouGov, found:
- more than half of parents want more information available on how their child’s school provides wellbeing support for students.
- 73% of parents would choose a school where children are happy even if previous exam results had not been good, over a school where exam results were better.
- significantly more young people think their school cares about their exams than about their happiness.
- 70% of teachers want the education system rebalanced to focus more on student wellbeing.
- 82% of teachers think the focus on exams has become disproportionate to the overall wellbeing of their students.
We are calling for a change in government policy to ensure schools prioritise the wellbeing of their students alongside academic achievement.
There needs to be Government legislation, regulation and/or policy, which embeds student wellbeing as a priority area in schools.
If you are passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of young people today, and want to support our campaign, then you can get involved in the following ways:
- Sign our campaign open letter and join the groundswell of support
- Sign your school or organisation up to be a Wise Up partner. If you’re a school or another organisation that would like to get involved with our campaign further, then please email email@example.com to find out how you can help
- Donate to YoungMinds. Help support the work we do. How to donate to YoungMinds
Our media partner
We're very grateful for support from our fantastic Wise Up media partner, The Sun’s Fabulous Magazine.