PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Health Sciences II.

Collaborative Approaches to Health Education: Perspectives of Parents and Teachers on Self-Care and Minor Ailments Teaching in UK Primary Schools


samira osman1, Vibhu Paudyal1, Christine Hirsch1, Zahraa Jalal1
1: University of Birmingham

Text of the abstract

Early childhood education and care is crucial in shaping a child's life chances and determining health behaviours through life (1). It focuses on the holistic development of a child's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and well-being (2).
This research delves into the perspectives of parents and teachers on the teaching of self-care and the management of minor ailments within primary schools in the UK.
Qualitative semi-structured interviews gathered detailed insights into individual experiences and opinions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed using Nvivo 12 to identify themes.
A total of 18 participants; teaching professionals and parents took part.
Results reveal six overarching themes: varying attitudes towards health, broad understanding of self-care, responsibility of schools in health education, notable gaps and barriers in current education practices, division of educational responsibility between parents and teachers, and the potential positive impact of comprehensive health education. The study suggests that while children are aware of basic health awareness, structured education is needed for managing minor ailments, requiring training and support.
Implications for policy and practice
Integrating self-care education into UK primary schools requires structured curriculum frameworks that encompass theoretical and practical aspects of health education. This demands collaboration among educational authorities, healthcare professionals, and caregivers. Schools need resources and training to bridge current gaps. Engaging parents and educators can enhance program sustainability, ultimately promoting a health-conscious future generation and easing healthcare system burdens.
The study suggests that comprehensive education on self-care and minor ailments within the primary school curriculum could lead to better health management among children, improved school attendance, and long-term benefits to public health. Policy development and educational reforms that support the inclusion of health management education in primary schooling are advocated, underscoring the importance of collaboration between homes and schools to foster self-reliant and health-conscious future generations.
There was no funding for this project