Teacher Truths….Why We Find it SO HARD to Tackle Eating Disorders
We’ve been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time training teachers and pastoral leads in schools over recent months.
There are clearly some recurring themes about how these staff are finding the experience of tackling eating disorders among school-aged children.
Here’s some open forum comments from a few of our recent trainings:
“We’re desperate to follow the curriculum advice and talk consistently about children being healthy and not having bad food habits or failing to take enough exercise – but in so doing, we realise it’s triggering for children who are wanting to restrict and do excessive exercise…”
“This last year has been the worst yet, for eating disorder cases. We just don’t know where to turn, because even when we’ve got a clear case, the GP in the local community has no referral option to pass a person on to. We’re just told to monitor the situation…”
“We’ve some fabulous parents supporting their children at the school, but we’ve also got some who flatly refuse to engage with us if we get in touch to mention our concerns about eating disorder behaviours. It’s as if they’re ashamed or feel we’re blaming them.”
“We’ve got extreme obesity on the one hand, and severe restrictive eating disorders on the other. Saying the same message in all our assembly and classroom activity, makes that really challenging.”
“I’ve learned that eating disorders are so toxic in a school. We had one girl with an issue in the year group at the return of school after the summer. Now there are easily 25 or more of her close friends who are all behaving with issues around food.”
Please do share with us if you’re a teacher finding things challenging. We’d love to help with some training, or support what you’re seeing.
- Jan 2023