The poor relation: health education in English schools - Bounce Forward

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1st June 2022

The poor relation: health education in English schools

Personal skills that underlie the decision to eat a salad or a hamburger, to put on a condom or hope for the best, to reach for a beer or reach out to a friend, to follow instructions on a medical leaflet or discard it, to trust vaccine regulators or a Facebook post, is a skill – or the absence of one.

Why do we leave this type of decision making to chance when it has such broad implications and when there are easy, and very cost effective solutions? 

The poor relation: health education in English schools is written by Chloe Lowry and co authored by Anant Jani, Dame Alison Peacock, David Gregson, Dr Lisa-Maria Müller, John Rees and our CEO Lucy Bailey discusses this and offers a reasoned argument for greater investment in health education and in schools as primary care providers. 

Read the full discussion published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine here  

Health as a skill: Underlying good health are skills that enable us to make healthy choices.

Extensive longitudinal research, including in Britain, finds that childhood social and emotional learning predicts a wide range of adult outcomes, even controlling for an extensive array of child, parent and family characteristics.1 An outline of the five core social and emotional skills is shown in the figure below, synthesised with the findings of research into their lifelong impact on health. (Casel, 2020)

The five core social and emotional skills and the lifetime health benefits of social and emotional learning skills in childhood (adapted from CASEL and Goodman et al.).

Healthy Minds is included as part of the solution. Find out more here.

Healthy Minds is considered the only evidenced based suite of its kind.  The Department for Education and HM Treasury include Healthy Minds in guidance when considering the economic arguments for building wellbeing. It was also showcased at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children’s Wellbeing in December 2021.

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