Exam stress rising? No, pupils are just better at seeking help | Laura McInerney

Of course sitting GCSEs can be a trying experience, but with good support, study pressure can be positive

Across the country at the moment, young people are engaging in a practice that will give them nightmares for decades. Nope, not fidget spinners or Snapchat filters: those give only adults nightmares. The real answer is exams.

It’s almost 20 years since my maths GCSE and yet the bad dreams are still the same. No revision done, the exam hall lost in a labyrinth of corridors, the start already missed. I am not alone. Exam anxiety dreams are among the most common in adults. Is it these painful associations, then, that mean a quarter of British parents report their mental health was negatively affected by having children who are currently taking exams? Or is it, as the parents will more often tell you, because watching your child break under the pressure is enough to make anyone sick?

Related: GCSEs and A-levels: how are young people coping with exam stress?

Among boys, the number experiencing any psychological distress has actually gone down

Related: Six tactics to help your students deal with stress

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Queen’s speech: what the Tories’ overhauled priorities may look like

Party’s manifesto plans will change in wake of election, with possible shifts in stance on Brexit, grammar schools and social care

The first Queen’s speech of the new parliament will be nothing like as ambitious as Theresa May had hoped, given the Conservative party’s lack of an overall majority and the need to rely on the Democratic Unionist party of Northern Ireland to pass legislation. Only a handful of key policies are likely to survive:

Related: Tom Watson asks May: did Murdoch request Gove’s return to cabinet?

Related: Q&A: how will the UK election result affect Brexit talks?

Related: Can party politics be set aside to save social care? | Paul Burstow

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Children need to be in the right mental state to learn effectively | Tony Draper

Headteacher Tony Draper says that the ‘kaleidoscope programme’ used in his school to help children focus and deal with their emotions has had an ‘amazing impact’ on pupils’ mental wellbeing

There is a crisis in mental health for young people. Services are operating in silos and they are not working for over-tested, overstressed young people. Much emphasis has been placed on teenagers with low self-esteem, with behavioural and emotional issues and how we can support them.

At Water Hall primary school in Milton Keynes, we believe in the need to identify and address these issues early to be able to implement intervention strategies as soon as possible.

Related: How schools are dealing with the crisis in children’s mental health

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Theresa May pledges mental health revolution will reduce detentions

Prime minister says new legislation is needed to end discrimination resulting from current Mental Health Act

Theresa May will pledge to scrap the “flawed” Mental Health Act, warning that it has allowed the unnecessary detention of thousands of people and failed to deal with discrimination against ethnic minority patients.

In an attempt to meet her pledge to prioritise mental illness during her premiership, she will commit to ripping up the 30-year-old legislation and replace it with new laws designed to halt a steep rise in the number of people being detained. Increased thresholds for detention would be drawn up in a new mental health treatment bill to be unveiled soon after a Conservative victory. Mental health charities, clinicians and patients would be consulted on the new legislation.

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Five priorities for improving children’s mental health | Paul Burstow

The mental wealth of the nation is critical to our future – young people’s mental wellbeing should be paramount

The mental health of the nation is built on foundations laid in the early years of our lives. Yet our mental health system is designed and funded to pay the price of our failure to act on the evidence and invest in the right family support in those childhood years.

We go through many life changes and transitions in our childhood and teenage years. It’s why the age of 18 is the wrong time for child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) to “hand over” to adult services. A joint report by the health and education select committees has turned the spotlight on the role schools can play.

Related: We’re working with children in care to improve mental health | Tony Hunter

Related: Mental health services won’t help children in temporary care settings

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Schools cutting mental health services to plug funding gaps, warn MPs

Services to support children’s wellbeing are ‘first thing to go’ when budgets are under pressure, parliamentary inquiry hears

Cash-strapped schools are cutting mental health services such as counsellors and pastoral provision as they try to cover funding gaps, two influential groups of MPs have said.

The health and education select committees joined forces for the inquiry, which called on the government to look at the impact of budget cuts on mental health services for children.

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British teenagers more competitive than peers but more likely to bullied

Anxiety levels also high in UK schools, global survey of 15-year-olds shows, with disadvantaged pupils worse affected

British teenagers are highly motivated about their school work, but are more anxious, more likely to be bullied and are less satisfied with life than many of their peers elsewhere in the world, according to a survey.

Almost a quarter of British pupils who took part in the poll say they are being bullied a few times a month, while more than 14% say they are bullied frequently, making the UK the fourth worst affected of all 34 countries surveyed.

Related: British teenagers among least satisfied in western world

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Children struggling to concentrate at school due to lack of sleep, MPs told

Sleep deprivation highlighted in inquiry into role of education in preventing mental health problems in children

Sleep deprivation is a growing problem in schools, with pupils struggling to concentrate in lessons due to lack of sleep, MPs have been told.

Edward Timpson, minister for children and families, highlighted the issue while being questioned by MPs who are investigating the role of education in preventing mental health problems in children and young people.

Related: ‘I’ll go to school on two and a half hours’ sleep’: why British children aren’t sleeping

Related: Can’t sleep? Get out into nature and swap your smartphone for a tent | Sarah Marsh

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Find the funds to help girls buy their sanitary products | Letters

I was saddened to read your report (Girls from poorer families ‘struggling to buy tampons’, 18 March). This is alarming and consistent with the rising levels of child poverty in this still wealthy country. But with our current divisive Brexit fixation, this situation will only deteriorate. It is no wonder that mental health problems are affecting more and more young people. To add this extra burden on young girls at a sensitive time of the month is iniquitous, leaving them languishing at home negating their education at a very important stage.

It is to be hoped that the government thinks again about the funding for schools, as this will undoubtedly lead to more teachers being made redundant and their altruism to these girls will be placed further in jeopardy. Please, Mrs May, forget your vainglorious grammar schools and bring our girls back from the brink where even the basics are unaffordable.
Judith Daniels
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

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