Next review: To be scheduled

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.

Next review date: TBC

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.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.