In July 2020, the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act wa signed into law. This will come into force in March 2022 meaning physcial punishment of children will be prohibited.
An extra £2.6 million was announced in July 2020 to support children and young people over the holidays. It is yet to be determined how this funding will be allocated.
Prosperity for All: the national strategy identified a series of cross-cutting priority areas. This year, budget preparations for 2020-21 considered investment to
accelerate the work to alleviate poverty and reverse the decline in our natural environment. Key achievements include:
- Supporting more than 36,000 children through the Flying Start programme
- Investing in a new whole school approach to support young people’s mental health
An evaluation of the Together for Mental Health Delivery Plan is underway and will conclude in 2022 to inform the next mental health strategy in Wales.
In addition, on 25 September 2017, the Cabinet Secretaries for Health and Education jointly announced a pilot scheme to strengthen the support provided to schools from CAMHS
The objectives of the pilot scheme are to:
- provide support for teachers to better understand childhood distress, emotional and mental health problems, and to reduce stress experienced by teachers concerned about their pupils, by upskilling them to recognise and deal with low level problems within their competence
- ensure that, when issues are identified that are outside teachers’ competence and skills, specialist liaison, consultancy and advice is available to enable the young person to be directed to more appropriate services such as CAMHS or local primary mental health support services, and to support the teacher and school in providing for the young person’s educational needs
- ensure that systems are in place to share appropriate information between CAMHS and schools, that shared care arrangements are agreed for those young people requiring more intensive support, and that arrangements are in place to escalate / de-escalate arrangements as the young person’s needs dictate.
Initially operating as a pilot programme, the initiative commenced at the end of 2017 and will cover two full academic years, concluding in the summer of 2020. The results will then be evaluated.