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Introduce mandatory eating disorder policies in schools

This petition had 130 supporters

Following the appalling revelations around the death of a four year old boy from Coventry, the need for eating disorder awareness in our schools has become more prolific.

No longer should teachers be fooled into 'not' taking appropriate action because a child has an alleged eating disorder. Safeguarding children at school is a key function for teachers - this petition seeks to enhance those safeguarding responsibilities through the introduction of mandatory eating disorder policies in schools.

Schools are legally bound to have safeguarding policies and whilst it is common for schools to have specific policies about mobile phones, very few have a specific eating disorder policy. Indeed, it is alarming to note that a survey of 800 schools in 2011 in the UK found that only 40 schools had a specific eating disorder policy.

Considering the rise in the number of children and young people being diagnosed with an eating disorder (HSCIC, 2012); the knowledge that eating disorders are complex (sometimes fatal) illnesses, and the role that teachers undertake in promoting the welfare and safety of children in their care (in loco parentis), specific eating disorder policies would sit appropriately with such safeguarding responsibilities, ensuring early intervention for pupils and students at risk of an eating disorder.

Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility and every effort to enhance and support such responsibility should be encouraged. This petition therefore calls upon the UK government to make eating disorder policies part of the safeguarding process and consequently make eating disorder policies mandatory for schools.

Debbie Roche, Founder, NotEDuk

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