Labour’s child health action plan must be properly resourced


Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to Keir Starmer’s announcement of Labour’s Child Health Action Plan.


“We support Labour’s ambition to improve children’s health. This is of obvious importance for their lifelong wellbeing but it is also linked to good educational outcomes and good attendance. Children who are unhealthy and unhappy are not in a fit state to learn and are more likely to miss school.

“In particular, there has been a huge problem with access to specialist mental health services for young people in many areas of the country for many years and we are very pleased to see Labour’s commitment to addressing this issue. We also support plans for a free breakfast club in every primary school, and there is good evidence for the benefits of supervised toothbrushing to improve dental hygiene.

“However, all of this needs to be properly resourced – with sufficient staffing and funding to ensure that these pledges become reality, and a sensible delineation of expectations on schools, healthcare and parents.”