Mental health support teams: Schools lament ‘glacial progress’

Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) are on track to reach half of all children and young people by next year – eight years after the initiative was first proposed.
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Figures published this week by the Department for Education (DfE, 2024) show that around 4.2 million students are now covered by support from MHSTs – about 44%.

This is up from 35% coverage last year and the initiative is forecast to reach 54% coverage in March 2025.

However, while the initiative is well-supported there has long been frustration at the long timescales and slow roll-out.

Responding to the new figures this week, Margaret Mulholland, SEND and inclusion specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It’s just not acceptable that in 2025, eight years after the initiative was first proposed, half of all pupils will still be without access to MHSTs”

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