GCSE results day 2021 is today and according to The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) study, published in the BMJ Open Journal, mental health at ages 11-14 was independently linked to educational success at age 16.
Children who experienced mental health difficulties were still twice as likely to not reach the benchmark of five GCSE grades A*-C (or 9-4) including Maths and English, compared to 30% of their peers with typical levels of development.
Could mental health interventions in schools and colleges improve GCSE results?
The research agues that “improving young people’s mental health can narrow the attainment gap at GCSE level by boosting the performance of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are more likely to experience mental health difficulties.”
Questions to ask yourself as a school leader based on the insights of this study
- Consider what preventative strategies you have in place to support mental health – do you evaluate them? How do you know if they are working? Are they evidence based?
- It was noted that happiness with school explained some of this link of ‘Socioemotional development in early adolescence was strongly associated with educational success later on at GCSE’ – do you measure happiness at school? What do you do when students are unhappy?
Masters in Leadership of School Mental Health and Wellbeing: the next cohort starts in September 2021
It’s time to empower education professionals to support the mental health needs of the whole school community. School leaders taking our qualification develop the confidence and skills to effectively support mental health needs of pupils and educators.
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