Brushing pupils’ teeth is not a job for teachers, headteachers say

The TES is reporting that schools leaders have warned that teachers should not be required to step in and look after pupils’ dental health…

Reports released this week reveal that almost a third of five-year-olds in England have some tooth decay, a situation that dentists have referred to as “frightening” and a “crisis”. Almost 26,000 general anaesthetics are given to children between the ages of 5 and 9, so that they can have teeth removed.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT headteachers’ union, is concerned that teachers often end up having to take responsibility for pupils’ dental hygiene.

“It’s the parents’ job to teach children to brush their teeth,” he said. “But not every child has parents who are willing to do that.

“We should be asking ourselves whether it’s schools’ job to do that, or whether society should be intervening to help these children.”

In October last year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published guidelines urging schools to supervise nursery and primary pupils brushing their teeth for two minutes twice a day.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, questioned whether this was schools’ responsibility…

More at: Brushing pupils’ teeth is not a job for teachers, headteachers say

 

It seems crazy to even suggest that teachers should be responsible for pupils’ dental health, but then we seem to have a significant issue with tooth decay in young children.

What do you think? Has your/your child’s school introduced tooth brushing into the school day? Do you think doing so is a good idea? 

If not, what else should be done to address this issue?

 

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Categories: Health, Primary and Teaching.

Comments

  1. Busy Mum

    Headteachers need to wake up to the fact that the government wishes to remove all responsibility from parents and schools are the obvious vehicle by which this can be achieved.

  2. Hannah93

    Could you imagine a teacher supervising 30 odd children brushing their teeth? nope neither can I! Parents should take the responsibly for their child’s teeth. Teachers and nursery practitioners can teach and talk to children about how to and advise unacknowledged parents about the health and keeping of children’s teeth. But no way should we take responsibly for their teeth!

  3. Hannah93

    Could you imagine a teacher supervising 30 odd children brushing their teeth? nope neither can I! Parents should take the responsibly for their child’s teeth. Teachers and nursery practitioners can teach and talk to children about how to and advise unacknowledged parents about the health and keeping of children’s teeth. But no way should we take responsibly for their teeth!

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