Teachers face significant barriers to addressing emotional health

26 July 2017

A new report, Reflections on Emotional Health, Wellbeing and Character in Schools, urges the government to address emotional health in schools in response to a recent health and education survey.

The report, published by the Fair Education Alliance (FEA) in which Canterbury Christ Church University is a member, identifies some of the reasons why emotional health remains a significant issue in the education system, where there is existing good practice and provides support for school staff and policy makers to take action.

The alliance, which represents over 85 leading business, education and voluntary organisations, published the report following their survey of 500 school staff about social and emotional health in education, highlighting the need for action. The key findings reported that insufficient time and a lack of available budget are the biggest barriers to addressing Social and Emotional wellbeing in schools, 94% thought it was very important to identify children who require specialist support for wellbeing or social and emotional development and having clear next steps is important for pupil development. These points were identified as being the key priorities for social and emotional wellbeing measurements.

Jennifer Shearman, Senior Lecturer in Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and leading editor and contributor to the report, said:

“This report showcases the power of cross-sector mobilisation to send a strong message about educating the whole person. Hear academics, university professors, corporate leaders and leading third sectors organisations, speak with one voice about why addressing emotional health in all children is so important, and how it can be achieved. We are committed to making policy change a priority through our collaboration and partnership.”

Sir Richard Lambert, Chair of the Fair Education Alliance, said: “Ensuring that our young people are socially and emotionally healthy is critical to boosting social mobility, and we cannot risk this falling off the agenda. This report emphasises the need for action to solve the emotional health crisis in our education system and signposts some of the great resources and research school staff and policy makers can look to.”

Notes to Editor

Please find the full report here.

Members of the FEA wellbeing working group:

Co-chairs: Emily Lau, Canterbury Christ Church University and Bea Stevenson, Family Links

Members: ReachOut, Nurture Group Network, UBS, Allen & Overy, The English-Speaking Union, Debate Mate, Football Beyond Borders, Girlguiding, Barnardo’s, Right to Succeed, Step Up to Serve.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With 17,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 96% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2014/15 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

About the Fair Education Alliance:

The Fair Education Alliance was launched in June 2014 and is a coalition of over 85 of the UK’s leading organisations from business, education and the third sector. The aim of the FEA is to work towards ending the persistent achievement gap between young people from the poorest communities and their wealthier peers.  


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:31:00