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Sharp mental ill health rise in under-11s

sharp mental ill health rise in under-11s

There has been a sharp rise in the number of children under the age of 11 that have been referred for mental health treatment by schools over the past four years.

The NSPCC has gathered data that shows schools in England have made a total of 123,713 referrals for specialist help since 2014-15.

The issues children were referred for consisted mainly of depression and anxiety, and sometimes these cases were so severe that it leads them to the brink of suicide, states Esther Rantzen president of NSPCC's Childline.

More than half of the children referred for specialist help were from primary schools. In 2017-18, some 18,870 children aged under 11 were referred for specialist support. This was a rise of 5,183, or more than a third, on those referred in 2014-15.

Over half a million 11-year-olds sat their SATs tests in English and maths last week. Despite the results mainly being used to hold primary schools across the country to account, there are concerns about the pressure pupils feels to achieve good results.

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