Council to recommend school leaver celebrations for those who need ‘chance to say a proper goodbye’ to one another

Social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a “growing sense of isolation” in young people, according to a report set to go before Leeds city councillors next week.

By Richard Beecham
Friday, 11th February 2022, 4:49 pm

Youth workers in the district also reported on how young people with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and ADHD also saw their symptoms worsen during the early days of Covid-19 lockdown.

The paper, which will be discussed by Leeds City Council’s Children and Families Scrutiny Board next week, will also recommend school leavers’ celebrations for those who went onto work or further study should be rearranged to give former students a sense of “closure” on their time in school.

It follows an inquiry into the pandemic’s effects on young people in Leeds, following an increase into rising referrals to child and adolescent mental health services in the district.

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Leeds City Council’s Children and Families Scrutiny Board next week will recommend that school leavers’ celebrations for those who went onto work or further study should be rearranged to give former students a sense of “closure” on their time in school following pandemic rules.

The report states a poll conducted for for Bernado’s back in June 2020 showed a rise in mental health issues for at least one in three children and young people, while indicating young people with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyper activity disorder reported worsening symptoms.

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It added that more young people were at risk of the “toxic trio” of addiction, mental health problems and domestic abuse.

The report added: “Young people have also reported feeling a lack of closure on the last academic year – for example not having the chance to say a proper goodbye to school friends and staff before they transitioned to college.

“In recognition of the lack of usual rituals and support during periods of transition and the difficulties this has caused young people moving on to other educational settings, the Scrutiny Board supported the suggestion put forward by the Youth Council representatives for schools to work with previous pupils to look at opportunities to rearrange those lost events and celebrations.”

The document will be discussed by Leeds City Council’s Children and Families Scrutiny Board on Wednesday, February 16.

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