AM seeks reassurances on self-harm in Welsh schools

Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones, has sought reassurances from the Education Minister, Huw Lewis that the Welsh Government is doing all it can to help schools reduce incidents self-harm by pupils.

More students than ever are deliberately hurting themselves according to research by the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) and Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

In Wales, 1,542 10 to 19-year-olds were admitted to hospital after self-harming in 2013/14. Hospital admissions resulting from self-harm are up by 36% since 2011/12.

Ms Jones, who is Chair of the Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee said: “Self harm can severely affect a child’s physical and emotional well-being as well as have a detrimental impact on their education. The news that self-harm is increasing is extremely worrying to parents and teachers.

“With the CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) system under severe pressure due to record numbers of children and parents seeking help – it is important that schools do all they can to identify trends and help support pupils who do self-harm in any way they can. The Welsh Government has an important role to play in giving schools the tools they need to get to grips with the issue and I am keen to learn what the Welsh Government is doing to make that happen”.

Ms Jones has formally raised the matter with the Education Minister via a written Assembly question