Increase in mental health issues & anxiety in pupils post COVID

Scrutiny Councillors on the Education Panel met last month to receive updates from the Cabinet Member for Education, Improvement, Learning and Skills, on Education Other Than At School (EOTAS) Services and the 21st Century Schools Programme.

The Panel heard that the new Maes Derw Pupil Referral Unit is having a beneficial impact on both pupils and staff but that improvements in EOTAS are not solely down to the opening of this facility.

The Panel expressed concern over issues emerging post Covid such as younger pupils struggling to engage at school with their peers and this is happening to much younger pupils than previously. The biggest impact has been the increase in mental health and anxiety issues and re-engaging with some of the older young people. The Panel was pleased to hear that the Service is working closely with other partner agencies like Social Services and the Youth Offending Team to help re-connect with these young people

Update on the 21st Century Schools Programme

Swansea Council’s 21st Century Schools programme focuses on an investment need which reflects the challenges remaining across our schools.

The Panel heard that £51.5m has been approved for Band A of the programme which has improved 9 schools in Swansea. Band B is almost three times the size of Band A with £149.497m spent on schools. This has been delivered with less capacity and in spite of the impact of Covid.

The number of schools that have or will have benefited from capital maintenance include 89 plus schools in the Band A period and 63 plus schools in the Band B period.

The Panel was pleased to hear about the work to reduce infant class sizes that includes a funding envelope of £1,919m which has included internal remodelling to create new classroom bases and classroom extensions.

The Panel expressed thanks to the Cabinet Member for Education, Improvement, Learning and Skills and all staff members within the service for their hard work in moving the programme forward efficiently and keeping the programme to time, wherever possible, through the difficult Covid period.

To view a recording of this meeting and to read all reports and letters sent and received from Cabinet please click here.

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