This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
In Progress
Teach children about the mental health risks of the internet

Every child will learn about mental wellbeing and the mental health risks of internet harms in the curriculum.

Our Verdict

The most recent comprehensive survey of child mental health in England found:

  • an increase over time in the prevalence of mental disorder in 5 to 15-year-olds, rising from 9.7% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2004, to 11.2% in 2017
  • emotional disorders have become more common in 5 to 15-year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 and 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017.

As part of efforts to counter these trends, this policy promises that all children will learn about the mental health risks of internet harms.

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 empowers the Secretary of State for Education to make elements of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) compulsory. So the government is legally able to require schools to teach about mental health risks associated with the internet.

In July 2018, in response to a consultation, the government announced plans to:

“introduce compulsory Health Education in all schools other than independent schools, where it is already compulsory”

The response proposed that “mental wellbeing” and “internet safety and harms” should be included as categories to be taught under the umbrella of Health Education. The draft statutory guidance, due to become compulsory from September 2020, outlines learning requirements for both those categories.

With consultation undertaken and new regulations and guidance due to come into effect in 2020, this pledge is ‘in progress’. Once the teaching around internet safety and harms has become a legal requirement in all schools, we’ll move this to ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates.

Use the internet wisely, get the details

Related policy

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!
Comments