An average of five children per class face risks to their wellbeing

The second annual Vulnerability Report, collated and published by children’s commissioner Anne Longfield, has revealed startling statistics about the welfare of children in England.
As reported by SecEd, it is believed that 2.1 million of England’s children are living around serious risks, such as domestic violence, alcohol abuse and mental health problems, that require intervention or support. This figure equates to one in six children, or five pupils in the average class of 30.
Of the 2.1 million, it is understood that a staggering 1.6 million are living in vulnerable situations but not receiving any help. Anne Longfield explained, “individual agencies too often identify and respond to one vulnerable characteristic but fail to take a holistic approach to explore the full range of multiple, overlapping vulnerabilities that a child is experiencing.”
She added, “over a million of the most vulnerable children in England cannot meet their own ambitions because they are being let down by a system that doesn’t recognise or support them – a system that too often leaves them and their families to fend for themselves until a crisis point is reached.”
Further data has formulated even more of a concern when it is put in proportion against the average class of 30:

  • 15 children would have experienced bullying at some point.
  • 3 would have a long-term health condition.
  • 8 children will have a parent with a mental health problem.
  • 1 child living in a household where both parents serious mental health problems.
  • 3 children with their own mental health issues.
  • 1 child caring for their parents or siblings.
  • 3 children with SEN.
  • 2 children living in homes with domestic violence and abuse.
  • 1 child living in material deprivation and severe low income.
  • 1.8 children would be receiving statutory support.

(From SecEd)
The first prevalence survey on children’s mental health needs by the NHS since 2004, due to be released later in the year, will present similar statistics. The children’s commissioner explained it will show that “children’s needs have been overlooked for too long, and we know that acute services from CAMHS are now under intense pressure as a result.”
The report concluded, “these figures should trigger not only our concerns and questioning; they must also trigger our action. The support of families and a good experience in school will be enough to ensure that they have happy and fulfilled childhoods, despite adversity.”
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