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Schools: Eating Disorders

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to improve help offered to children with eating disorders when at school. (125323)

The 2001 DfES guidance, ‘Promoting Children's Mental Health within Early Years and Schools Settings’ includes a section on eating disorders and general principles that schools should follow in working with young people who experience eating disorders.

The guidance emphasizes the important role that schools can play in helping young people to develop confidence and self-esteem, manage the way in which they think about themselves, and ensure they eat regular meals. Where there is rapid weight loss, schools should liaise with parents for the young person to be referred for a medical assessment.

The promotion of emotional well-being already forms part of many DfES policies including the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum, the national healthy schools programme, the improving behaviour and attendance programme, and the social and emotional aspects learning (SEAL) curriculum materials. New Children's Trusts arrangements should lend further support to schools with their focus on multi-agency partnerships and stronger links with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).