Many parents never talk about mental health to children

_86919373_mentalhealthMore than half of parents in England have never spoken to their children about stress, anxiety or depression, a survey has suggested.

A poll of more than 1,100 parents found that 55% had not spoken about the subject to their offspring.

Of those, 20% said they did not know how to address the issue.

The survey results have been released as part of a campaign, funded by the Department of Health, to break down the stigma associated with mental health.

The poll, of parents to children aged between six and 18, was carried out by market research company Opinion Matters on behalf of the Time to Change campaign, which is being run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

It also found that 45% of parents felt they did not need to have the conversation because mental health “was not an issue”.

‘Generation for change’

One in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem, the campaign claims.

Sue Baker, the director of Time to Change, said: “This has to be the generation for change. Mental health problems are a common experience for three children in every classroom.

“Our research

More unqualified teachers taking lessons suggests research

_86911931_secondarypupilsanonMore than one in 10 schools in England are using more unqualified teachers to take lessons in response to growing teacher shortages, research suggests.

The Times Education Supplement (TES) says a survey of nearly 250 heads revealed almost half had unfilled positions in their schools.

The survey, by TES Global, also suggested that more than a quarter were also using more supply teachers.

The government said teacher numbers and quality were at record levels.

Almost one in 10 of the heads said they had recruited teachers from overseas while almost one in eight said they were asking teachers to cover subjects in which they did not specialise.

Fewer applicants

Science and maths teacher vacancies are the hardest to fill, according to separate figures from the latest TES Teacher Recruitment Index, based on interviews with nearly 5,000 schools.

Other subjects with shortages include English and information technology.

Schools in London, the South East and the West Midlands are finding teacher recruitment particularly tough, according to this set of figures.

The toughest vacancies to fill are physics teacher jobs in London, which currently receive only two applications on average – compared to eight

Foster care boosts vulnerable children grades

_86921034_examroomcloseupgcseChildren in foster care make better educational progress than vulnerable children who remain with troubled families, research suggests.

Oxford and Bristol university researchers calculated that the difference amounted to at least six GCSE grades at 16.

However, the results of students in both groups were not as good as pupils in the general population.

The GCSE results of 640,000 teenagers in England in 2013 were examined.

Around 14,000 of these were deemed to be “in need” but were still living with their birth parents, supported by social workers, and their results were not as good as the total of just over 6,000 pupils who were in care.

Children did better at school “once they felt safe and secure”, said Prof David Berridge of Bristol University.

The longer that vulnerable children remain in foster care the better they do, the researchers add.

‘They mattered’

At GCSE, 16-year-olds who had spent at least a year in foster care achieved better grades, equivalent to at least six grades overall, than children in other forms of care.

These differences persisted even after differences in the number of children with special educational needs in each of the

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