This chapter looks at the relationship between the current mental health crisis in schools and the increasing number of children growing up in poverty. It highlights the need to intervene early in children’s lives and suggests ways of helping young people overcome early disadvantage.

The chapter explores learning as an emotional process which happens within the context of relationships. The authors suggest that the quality of affective learning currently taking place in schools needs closer attention as this is a necessary precursor to children’s cognitive development as well as to their mental wellbeing.

Whilst the authors argue that mental health and affective growth needs to form an important part of any school’s remit, they emphasise that this should be in addition to, rather than at the expense of, good mental health services.