Childhood Anxiety in Primary Schools

In November 2019, APPA worked with one of Australia’s leading child behaviour experts, Michael Hawton, to develop a survey exploring the reported high levels of childhood anxiety being observed in primary schools.

All Government, Independent and Catholic Primary School leaders were invited to complete the survey and almost 700 replies were received, with many respondents adding additional detailed comments.

A disturbing and significant national problem was highlighted by primary school leaders, who know that these increasing levels of childhood anxiety affect young children’s mental health and well-being, their ability to learn at school, as well as causing them at times to avoid normal challenging life situations.

These situations also place high demands on school resources and present major challenges to principals and teachers.

APPA is continuing work in collaboration with key stakeholders in response to this significant report.

APPA is particularly interested in how ‘parent-led’ resilience programs, with fit-for-purpose intervention, could be introduced and supported in order to reduce children’s anxiety, improve their resilience-thinking skills and help every child achieve optimal well-being, mental health and educational success.