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Schools should be able to use their catch-up cash to provide mental health support for pupils, a new report highlighting the “shocking” scale of wellbeing issues among young people suggests.

Research conducted by UCL and the Sutton Trust shows a link between teenagers reporting the worst mental health in the aftermath of the pandemic and levels of motivation to study.

More than two in five – or 44 per cent – of 16 to 17-year-olds in England were found to have “probable” mental ill health, classed as having high levels of psychological distress.

This is nine percentage points higher than the 35 per cent reporting distress at age 17-18 in a similar 2017 study by UCL’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS).

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