The BBC is reporting that there has been a sharp rise in the number of children under 11 referred for mental health treatment by schools in the last four years, figures show.
Data obtained by children’s charity the NSPCC shows that schools in England have made a total of 123,713 referrals for specialist help since 2014-15.
But more than half of these came from primary schools. The youngest child referred for help was three years old.
In 2017-18, some 18,870 children aged under 11 were referred for specialist support. This was a rise of 5,183, or more than a third, on those referred in 2014-15.
The NSPCC said increased demand for support was placing the system under real pressure, and jeopardising the well-being of thousands of children.
Its chief executive Peter Wanless said: “Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point.”
Sarah Hannafin, senior policy adviser at the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “More pupils are suffering from mental health issues and there is much more awareness in schools for spotting potential problems and intervening early to get support.
“However, more than a third of referrals are not accepted – schools have referred these pupils because they are concerned about their mental health and know that the child needs more specialist support than could (and should) be offered by school staff.
Read more and watch the video Sharp rise in mentally ill children aged under 11 – Video
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