An independent school in Suffolk has adopted a new protocol from Wednesday’s Child to help staff, parents and students better understand eating disorders.
Framlingham College is now utilising the Wednesday’s Child team to educate staff, audit dining facilities, deliver assemblies, stage parent talks and provide a one-to-one listening service or recovery techniques for those children who may need it.
Framlingham College deputy head (pastoral), Tom Caston, said: “The wellbeing of a pupil is critical to them experiencing a happier and more successful school career. I really believe that the Wednesday’s Child delivery model is essential for the entire academic community – from primary to higher education, and across mainstream and public schools.”
It is believed as many as one in five schoolchildren will experience an eating disorder during their academic life, and the disease has a high onset incidence during adolescence.
The wellbeing of a pupil is critical to them experiencing a happier and more successful school career
Wednesday’s Child’s protocol guides school staff and the pupil community through awareness, prevention and intervention. As well as providing focused education about the mental health illness and its incidence in the academic arena, the package includes full recovery coaching support for students experiencing difficulties with, or early signs of, an eating disorder.
Debbie Watson, founder of Wednesday’s Child, said: “Our protocol on eating disorders is something long overdue in the education arena, and we’re proud to have been the organisation to have really listened to schools and to have developed a framework which can be tailored for their needs.
“On the one hand, teachers and pastoral staff were saying how desperate they were for more information and resources to assist understanding of this devastating illness, but perhaps even more so, they were eager to get ‘hands-on’ support wherever a child might be showing some kind of eating distress or disordered thoughts.