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Thursday 24th May 2018

Local girl with depression goes to Downing Street for better support at school

6th May 2009

Rhiannon Godden, 16, from Derbyshire today backed charity YoungMinds by delivering a box of letters to 10 Downing Street asking Gordon Brown to improve support for children with mental health problems in schools.

Rhiannon who was diagnosed with depression aged 16, joined four other children and young people with different health conditions to hand deliver the letters to the Prime Minister’s door this afternoon. They were helping charities to raise awareness of inequalities faced by those with health conditions at schools in England.

To address this issue, Jim Cunningham MP is putting forward the Schools (Health Support) Bill which is due to be debated in Parliament this Friday (8 May).

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said: “The health and education of many of the estimated one million children and young people with health conditions in England could be at risk because pupils do not always receive adequate support to manage their condition at school and are not being fully included in lessons and activities.

“A lack of training and support for school staff means that pupils’ medical needs are not always met and they miss out academically and socially. We are calling for as many MPs as possible to support the Schools (Health Support) Bill and make a real difference to these pupils’ quality of life.”

The Schools (Health Support) Bill aims to ensure:

  • Schools are required to produce and implement medical conditions policies – in line with current guidance and best practice
  • School staff receive appropriate support and training to support children with health conditions
  • NHS bodies, local authorities and primary care trusts help schools fulfil their responsibilities
  • School inspections also look at how a school supports children with health conditions
  • Every child with a health condition has an individual healthcare plan

Charities supporting the Bill include The Anaphylaxis Campaign, Asthma UK, British Heart Foundation, Children and Young People's HIV Network, CLIC Sargent, Coeliac UK, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Action, INPUT, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, MS Society, National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE), National Voices, Royal College of Nursing, TreeHouse, Scope, Sickle Cell and Young Stroke Survivors (SCYSS), Stroke Association, UK Children with Diabetes Advocacy Group, Vision 2020 UK, Young Minds.


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