Union chief urges improved mental health support for pupils

Carole Thorpe called for enhanced investment in education as the sector recovers from coronavirus.

Union chief urges improved mental health support for pupils PA Media
EIS president Carole Thorpe said many pupils struggled over the past year when schools were closed.

The outgoing president of Scotland’s largest teaching union has used her final speech in the role to call for more mental health support for pupils.

Speaking at the Educational Institute of Scotland’s (EIS) annual general meeting, Carole Thorpe called for enhanced investment in education as the sector recovers from coronavirus.

The education secretary is due to address EIS members at the virtual AGM on Friday.

Speaking to the AGM on Thursday, Ms Thorpe said: “Dealing with the issues left in the wake of the pandemic will require partnership going forward.

“The government must work with teachers and lecturers because we are the ones best placed to understand our pupils and what their needs are, both educational needs and their health and wellbeing needs, including mental health.

“It is vital that sufficient funding is provided to give us the resources to do this.

“There has been, and will continue to be, a huge increase in the need for mental health support due to the pandemic.

“During this last year so many of our young people have missed out on social contact, have experienced grief and loss, have lived with stressed parents, have been subjected to domestic abuse, hunger, and so many other issues.

“For so many of our young people, school is the stable, dependable part of their existence and they have struggled without it.

“Cracks in our society will be irreparable if we do not act now.

“Money must be made available to support education – pupils affected by the pandemic are the future of our country and we cannot afford to fail them.”