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Primary Education: Dental Health

Department for Education written question – answered on 19th October 2018.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department provides to teach oral hygiene in primary schools.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Early Years Foundation Stage framework sets out what children should demonstrate by the end of reception, in terms of personal hygiene through the Heath and Self-Care early learning goal. In addition, Early Years Educator qualifications cover the promotion of the health, safety and welfare of children.

The Department does not provide any dedicated funding to teach oral hygiene. The primary science curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to be taught about oral hygiene. In Year 2, pupils are taught about the importance of hygiene in general, and in Year 4 they are taught about teeth and their functions. This can include finding out about what damages teeth and how to look after them. The primary science curriculum is compulsory in all local authority maintained schools and academies can use it as a benchmark to teach science.

In addition, the Government is proposing to introduce compulsory Health Education and is currently consulting on draft regulations and associated guidance about this. Under the topic of health and prevention, the draft guidance sets out that pupils should know about dental health and the benefits of good oral hygiene, including visits to the dentist. The consultation is also seeking views on the support schools might need for the teaching of Health Education. The consultation closes on 7 November 2018.

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