An audit carried out by ‘Audit General for Scotland’ (2018) and ‘The Accounts Commission’ on ‘Children and Young People’s Mental Health’ states “Children living in low income households are three times more likely to suffer mental health problems than their more affluent peers” (Audit General for Scotland and The Accounts Commission, 2018). Due to the area in which this enquiry is being carried out being an area of deprivation, it is a suitable opportunity to take part in a Practitioner Enquiry to assess impact on the learning environment. In order to do this it was decided to look at the underlying factors relating to mental health within the education system. The Scottish Government’s mental health strategy focuses on early intervention and prevention, however this is limited and mental health services are stretched and must respond to crisis first (The Scottish Government (2017) and Audit General for Scotland and The Accounts Commission, 2018). According to Denise Coia’s initial recommendations within the ‘Children and Young People’s Mental Health Task Force: preliminary view and recommendations from the Chair’ it is clear early identification and support in schools is required (Gov.scot, 2018). Within the education system every child and young person should have appropriate access to emotional and mental well-being support in school. Health and wellbeing is a core area within the curriculum for excellence and is the responsibility of all staff within the school. It is expected that school staff ensure children and young people are included, engaged and involved in their education as this is fundamental to achievement and attainment in school (Healthier Scotland: The Scottish Government, 2017). In a document by Smarter Scotland, it highlights the belief of the Scottish Government that through achieving better outcomes for children and young people in health and wellbeing it should contribute to improvements in literacy and numeracy (Smarter Scotland: The Scottish Government, 2018). During this enquiry children were encouraged to use relaxation strategies which support mental health in order to promote focus within other aspects of the curriculum.
This practitioner enquiry aims to investigate the impact of using relaxation strategies on focus within the classroom. I anticipate the use of relaxation strategies will have a positive impact on focus within the classroom.