Westminster Education Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Improving mental health provision for children and young people - policy developments, collaboration and the role of schools

March 2020

This conference focuses on priorities for improving children and young people’s mental health provision in England.

It is bringing together policymakers, clinicians, and representatives of the education system to examine:

  • Next steps for policy and practice; and
  • The implementation so far of key government measures.

It takes place with key government initiatives already planned or in place, including:

  • Commitments to improve children and young people’s mental health as part of the NHS Long Term Plan;
  • Publication of the first State of the Nation report on children’s mental wellbeing, which highlighted trends such as bullying as a key reason for unhappiness;
  • Introduction of new mental health support teams in 48 areas across the country following initial trials last academic year;
  • The Link Programme, which aims to improve collaboration between schools and the NHS in the delivery of services to young people in need of mental health support;
  • Ofsted’s new series of joint inspections focusing on children’s mental health examining how local services respond to children living with mental health needs; and
  • A new compulsory RSHE Curriculum being introduced from September 2020, which aims to prepare children for adult life and help children make informed decisions about their wellbeing from an early age.

Sessions in the agenda include:

  • Policy priorities and where next for children’s mental health provision in England;
  • Introducing the Link Programme - improving collaboration between the NHS and schools;
  • Creating a joined-up approach to children’s mental health provision: identification, collaboration, prevention, and introducing mental health support teams;
  • Mental health services in schools - inspections, links between health and education, and teachers’ mental health:
    • Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools and Colleges programme - a training programme case study;
    • Tackling resource concerns and improving the mental health of teaching staff; and
    • Implementing the new health curriculum.
  • The impact of mental health and wellbeing on GCSE performance in England - research findings and recommendations.

The agenda includes keynote contributions from:

  • Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan, Associate National Clinical Director, Children and Young People’s Mental Health, NHS England and Improvement;
  • Kadra Abdinasir, Strategic Lead, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition;
  • Dr Neil Smith, Head of Analysis, National Centre for Social Research (NatCen); and
  • Cait Cooper, Deputy Director of Mental Health and Wellbeing in School Programme, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Further confirmed speakers include: Laura Brothwell, Portway Primary School, Newham; Jane Caro, Mental Health Foundation; Lara Ferguson, Young Person; Dr Julie Greer, Cherbourg Primary School, Hampshire; Dr Patrick Johnston, Place2Be; Rosamund McNeil, National Education Union; Bethan Plant, Sheffield City Council and Dr Tara Porter, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

The chairs are: Baroness Parminter and Baroness Massey of Darwen.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Westminster Education Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: DfE; DHSC; Cabinet Office; DCMS; Government Legal Department and the NAO.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Education Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates