Children's support services: Schools now 'fourth emergency service'

Schools have become the “fourth emergency service” – left to pick up the pieces because of the “deplorable” state of children’s support services.

Years of government austerity and increasing demand for services have eroded the support that is available to our most vulnerable young people, according to Evelyn Forde, president of the Association of School and College Leaders.

Speaking at the union’s annual conference on Friday (March 10), Ms Forde revealed the results of an ASCL membership survey showing just how inadequate school and college leaders believe children’s support services to be.

Of the 1,120 ASCL members who responded, just 13 felt children’s mental health services were adequate to meet the needs of students. Only 47 felt the same about children social care services, and only 84 felt the same about local authority educational psychologist services.

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