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Mental health biggest pupil wellbeing worry for heads

New report by The Key reveals most concerning pupil health and safeguarding issues for school leaders in England

The report, which represents the views of 1,180 school leaders who completed The Key’s annual State of Education survey, found that the top 10 issues for heads were:

1. Mental health (67 per cent)
2. Domestic violence (58 per cent)
3. Cyberbullying (55 per cent)
4. Bullying (38 per cent)
5. Obesity (36 per cent)
6. Drugs (23 per cent)
7. Sexting (21 per cent)
8. Child sexual exploitation (20 per cent)
9. Gangs and youth violence (13 per cent)
10. Female genital mutilation (FGM) (11 per cent)

The results identify the scale of the challenge facing the new Child Protection Taskforce as schools increasingly seek to employ their own counsellors or draw on voluntary services to tackle wide-ranging pupil wellbeing issues.

Other notable points revealed include:
Domestic violence is much more of a concern for primary school leaders (70 per cent) than those in secondary schools (47 per cent)
Cyber bullying is of concern to more secondary school leaders, with almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of those surveyed saying this is a worry, compared to 59 per cent of primary school leaders.
School leaders in London are more concerned about gangs and youth violence (32 per cent), FGM (27 per cent) and radicalisation (26 per cent) than those in any other regions, with these issues ranking 6th, 8th and 9th respectively. In contrast the wider south east region ranked gangs and youth violence and radicalisation as 13th and 14th respectively, with 6 per cent of school leaders indicating these as areas of concern
Drugs are of concern to school leaders across the country, ranking as the 6th most worrying issue for respondents in most regions. A notable exception is London – the only region where drugs ranked outside of the top 10 (11th)
While sexting and drugs rank higher as concerns for secondary school leaders (61 per cent and 55 per cent respectively), obesity ranks higher among primary school leaders (42 per cent)

You can view The Key’s report and see the full findings, with breakdowns of responses from schools of different types, phases and locations, here: thekeysupport.com/pupil-wellbeing-report-2015

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Pie Corbett