Evidence-based Interventions

-Promoting inclusion of children with SEMH needs-

Poor emotional and mental health affects a significant number of children and young people:

Prevalence and Scale of the Issue:

  • 250,000+ pupils: In England alone, over 250,000 pupils were identified with SEMH needs in 2021/22 (CYP Now, 2023). This represents a significant portion of the student population.
  • Increased risk: Children with SEMH needs are more likely to be eligible for free school meals, highlighting socio-economic factors and potential disparities in access to support (Mencap, 2023).
  • Gender disparity: Boys are disproportionately represented, accounting for 73.1% of pupils with EHC plans and 64.6% with SEN support in England (Gov.uk, 2020, as cited in Mencap, 2023).

Mental Health Impact:

  • Early onset: 50% of all mental health problems begin by age 14, emphasizing the importance of early intervention for SEMH needs (The Children’s Society, 2023).
  • COVID-19 impact: The pandemic has had a significant negative impact on children’s mental health, with 39.2% of 6-16 year olds experiencing deterioration since 2017 (NHS Digital, 2022).
  • Limited access to care: Only one in three children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition receive NHS care and treatment (YoungMinds, 2023).

The interventions in this Toolkit have been grouped into Universal, Targeted and Specialist to support schools to follow a graduated approach to SEMH and to identify the correct level of intervention based on need.

  • Universal interventions are for all students
  • Targeted interventions are for some students
  • Specialist interventions are for a few students


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