Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Das Ist Verboten: Speaking Out Means Mental Health Champion For Schools Dropped

You have to love the government don't you? They fall over themselves to employ experts who are smart and intelligent enough to advice them, but tell them something they don't want to hear and you're toast.

The latest to fall foul of the Tories 'la-la-la-not-listening' policy is Natasha Devon, mental health champion for schools. Appointed last August as part of an overdue drive to improve young people's mental health care (and Lord knows, it needs improving!) She found out today that she is no longer required for the role. The DfE claim that her position was now surplus to requirements because they have appointed a new cross-government mental health champion but in reality, is it because Devon was not afraid to speak out at the problems she saw within the education system?

Last week at a conference of headteachers in London Devon highlighted the link between academic pressures faced by youngsters and mental health. 

"At one end of the scale we've got 4 year olds being tested, at the other end of the scale we've got teenagers leaving school and facing the prospect of leaving university with record amounts of doubt. Anxiety is the fastest growing illness in under 21s. These things are not a coincidence"

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan claims to be in 'listening mode; but its clearly only selective hearing and she obviously didn't like what she heard coming from Devon's lips.

Another thing to bear in mind at the polls tomorrow - the Tories have consistently proved to us that they DO NOT CARE about the mental health of the next generation.

  • Children's Mental Health Services have been cut by £50m
  • 500,000 children are now being taught in 'super size' classes over 31 
  • 15,000 are being taught in classes over 40.

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