Education on the breadline: Mental wellbeing and the cost-of-living crisis

  • Jayman, M. (Keynote/plenary speaker)
  • Jay Ayliffe (Keynote/plenary speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an academic eventParticipation in academic conference


One in six children in England aged five to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem in 2021 – five children in every classroom. We also know that children’s subjective wellbeing continues to decline: The Good Childhood report (2022) revealed that children’s happiness with ‘life as a whole’ was significantly lower in 2019-20 than a decade earlier. While access to NHS mental health services for 18 to 25-year-olds was almost a fifth higher in 2021/22 than pre-pandemic – with around 1 in 5 university students estimated to have a diagnosed mental health problem.

At all levels of education there is disturbing evidence of impoverished mental health and wellbeing. Alongside this, the UK is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. The emerging picture is stark – Education Support recently assessed triple the number of school staff calling their crisis helpline as at suicide risk. Certainly, spiralling cost-of-living is taking a huge toll on educators and students and their families. Disturbing forecasts show per-pupil funding will be slashed for more than 1,300 schools next year with planned cuts to overall budgets for thousands more. In these exceptionally challenging times, how can schools, colleges and universities provide timely and appropriate mental wellbeing support for their learners while simultaneously balancing escalating costs with ever diminishing budgets?

These critical issues, at the heart of the education sector, are the focus of this conference which will bring together expert voices from the frontline – teaching staff, practitioners and researchers working in education settings, and higher education students – to present the latest research evidence and discuss creative, solution-focussed approaches to support our learning communities in crisis.
Period9 Mar 2023
Event typeConference


  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Education
  • Cost of living
  • Interventions