Ritalin use has more than doubled in the past ten years, the chief of Ofsted has claimed, warning that parents may be medicating their children instead of addressing behavioural problems.

Prescriptions for “smart drugs,” which are often used to tackle attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reportedly increased to 1.5 million in 2017 – up from 700,000 a decade earlier.

But Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, said it was not possible the increase in prescriptions for the so-called “chemical coshes” could be representative of the number of young people actually suffering from the disorder.