Sat, 20 April 2024

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By Bishop of Leeds
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Norman Lamb blasts ‘yawning gap’ in mental health training for teachers

Liz Bates

2 min read

Norman Lamb has highlighted the “yawning gap” in mental health provision in schools after 9 out of 10 teachers said they lacked adequate training.

The Liberal Democrat health spokesman said it was “crucial” that teaching staff were supported as mental health problems among young people were on the rise.

He was responding to a new poll - done by YouGov for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families – in which only 10% of primary school teachers strongly agreed that they were trained to deal with pupils' mental health problems.

Mr Lamb said: “This highlights a yawning gap in our ability to support children with mental health problems.

“We know there is a growing prevalence of mental health issues amongst children.

“It’s crucial we give teachers the training and tools do their jobs effectively in the face of these growing pressures.

“All teachers need to be trained to spot the signs of trauma, neglect or mental distress, to ensure that pupils get help early on."

The North Norfolk MP revealed this week that he was planning to step down as Liberal Democrat health spokesman after being appointed chair of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee earlier in the year.

He said: “Taking on that role (as select committee chair) was a very substantial undertaking, so when Vince Cable reshuffles after the conference as I think he probably will, I will step down as the party’s health spokesman.

“I can’t do both and give both proper justice.”

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