Behaviour and mental health in schools inquiry

We are proud to be launching our new inquiry on behaviour and mental health in schools.

About the inquiry

Coalition members have long been concerned that often children and young people get punished for behaviour that is linked to their mental health, and that responses to behaviour, like the use of isolation rooms and exclusion, can further harm young people’s mental health.

This is set against a backdrop of rising mental health need among children and young people, with one in six children and young people aged 6 to 16 experiencing a mental health problem in 2021 compared to one in nine in 2017. There is an emerging body of evidence that highlights the link between behaviours that challenge and mental health problems amongst children and young people.

We believe there is a need to better understand the drivers of poor behaviour, such as mental health, trauma and inequality, with evidence suggesting that these groups are disproportionately impacted by punitive approaches to behaviour management.

Through the inquiry, we are keen to explore the links between mental health and behaviour, how current school policies on behaviour are impacting young people and their families, and to understand what role a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing can play in improving behaviour, mental health and wellbeing. We also want to gather best practice examples.

The inquiry will cover England only and will be focused on primary and secondary schools.

What will the inquiry involve?

The inquiry will have two key stages:

  • Firstly, a call for evidence which will consist of surveys for professionals, young people, and parent and carers.
  • Secondly, we will host virtual evidence sessions with key stakeholders.

We want to make sure that the voices of young people and parent and carers are placed at the heart of the inquiry. That’s why we have established a Youth Advisory Group and a Parent-Carer Advisory Group to help inform the inquiry and to provide expert advice as the inquiry progresses.

To find out more about the inquiry, read the inquiry Terms of Reference.

How can you get involved?

You can share your insight, evidence and experience through our call for evidence, which is open until Friday 24th June 2022.

If you have any questions about the inquiry or would like to find out more then please in get in touch with