Social and emotional wellbeing in primary education

NICE guidelines [PH12] Published date:

Review decision: 

Overall, it was agreed that the recommendations still stood.  However there was additional evidence available to further elaborate the detail in recommendations. The guidance will therefore be updated.

This guidance is for teachers and school governors, and for staff in local authority children’s services, primary care and child and adolescent mental health services.

NICE recommendations include:

  • Local authorities should ensure primary schools provide an emotionally secure environment that prevents bullying and provides help and support for children (and their families) who may have problems.
  • Schools should have a programme to help develop all children’s emotional and social wellbeing. It should be integrated it into all aspects of the curriculum and staff should be trained to deliver it effectively.
  • Schools should also plan activities to help children develop social and emotional skills and wellbeing, and to help parents develop their parenting skills.
  • Schools and local authorities should make sure teachers and other staff are trained to identify when children at school show signs of anxiety or social and emotional problems. They should be able to discuss the problems with parents and carers and develop a plan to deal with them, involving specialists where needed. Those at higher risk of these problems include looked after children, those in families where there is instability or conflict and those who have had a bereavement.

  • The guidance complements and supports, but does not replace, NICE guidance on depression in children and young people and parent training and education in the | management of children with conduct disorders.

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