The following was issued as a press release on 25th February 2019

National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) Executive Director Emma Hollis was “honoured” to take part in a ‘Mental Health in Initial Teacher Training’ roundtable discussion with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.

The roundtable was held at The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ conference in London on 13th February. Emma and other senior education leaders met with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to explore the key issues and barriers around mental health, what teachers need to know and the level of training required, and how to overcome the challenges and support and encourage providers of ITT and NQT training to focus on mental health.

“From a personal perspective I was extremely excited to be invited to participate in this roundtable discussion with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and I felt incredibly honoured and privileged to be able to represent NASBTT’s members at such a high-profile event,” Emma said. “Some interesting questions arose around the anecdotal increase in frequency and severity of mental health issues presenting in trainee teachers. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and her charity’s staff were interested in receiving more quantitative data to support these observations so we have reached out to NASBTT’s members to find out what change over the past three years, if any, they have encountered in the frequency and severity of mental health issues presenting in their trainees.”

Emma later told the media that cuts to pupil support have created a new generation of troubled teachers, noting that up to 78% of child and adolescent mental health service referrals were turned away during the period in which current trainees were pupils. “One of the things that concerns me greatly within teacher training is we are increasingly seeing the trainee teachers themselves presenting with increasing mental health issues,” she explained. “Some of the adolescents who fell through the cracks at school are coming back as adults into an environment where they were first exposed to these feelings of anxiety, mental health issues and exam pressures. Teacher training is a very intense year, and they are going back into schools and presenting quite severe mental health issues. These are people being asked to look after the mental health of the children in their care. If you are not able to take care of your own mental health, it makes you less able to be responsive to the mental health of the children in your class. The cuts are now coming through to us.”

Emma was joined on the roundtable by James Noble-Rogers, Executive Director, Universities Council for the Education of Teachers; Professor Dame Alison Peacock, CEO, Chartered College of Teaching; Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector, Ofsted; Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Exeter; Liz Birchinall, Programme Director Primary PGCE, University of Manchester; Stephen Munday, Chief Executive, Cam Academy Trust; Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families; Catherine Roche, CEO, Place2Be; Emma Thomas, Chief Executive, Young Minds; and other representatives from The Royal Foundation.

Notes for editors:

Emma Hollis is available for interview via Phil Smith, NASBTT PR Consultant
Telephone: 01778 218180
Mobile: 07866 436159
Email: phil@philsmithcommunications.co.uk

Contact NASBTT:

Alison Hobson, Executive Officer
Telephone: 01933 627049
Mobile: 07925 805399
Email: office@nasbtt.org.uk

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