Review decision date: September 2012

Review decision: 

No update required - published guidance still current.

Next review: 2017

This guidance is for all those who have a responsibility for the social and emotional wellbeing of young people in secondary education. This includes teachers, support staff, governors and professionals with public health as part of their remit working in education (including the independent sector), local authorities, the NHS and the wider public, voluntary and community sectors.

It focuses on interventions to support all young people aged 11-19 who attend any education establishment.

Social and emotional wellbeing includes being happy, confident and in control, with the ability to solve and cope with problems and have good relationships with other people.

The six recommendations cover: strategy, the key principles and conditions, working in partnership with parents, families and young people, the curriculum, and training and professional development. They include:

  • Secondary education establishments should have access to the specialist skills, advice and support they require.
  • Practitioners should have the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to develop young people’s social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Secondary education establishments should provide a safe environment which nurtures and encourages young people’s sense of self-worth, reduces the threat of bullying and violence and promotes positive behaviour.
  • Social and emotional skills education should be tailored to the developmental needs of young people.

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.

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