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Southampton Health Technology Assessments CentreNews

Training teachers to promote health in schools: SHTAC’s research to be presented at the Public Health Science Conference 2015

Published: 9 November 2015
School health
Training teachers to promote health in schools

What are the longer-term effects of training teachers in health and well-being issues during their initial teacher training, once they have qualified? SHTAC’s Dr Karen Pickett will be presenting findings from a research project that sought to answer this question, at the annual Public Health Science Conference.

The research project, which completed in August this year and was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, was led by the University’s Southampton Education School, in collaboration with SHTAC and the Primary Care and Population Sciences academic units. The research evaluated the longer-term effects of an innovative health education programme for trainee teachers, which has been a part of the University’s initial teacher training courses since 2010. The programme was developed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts from the University and external agencies. The aim of the programme is to raise trainee teachers’ awareness of the importance of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education and to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence to teach it.

During the research, researchers carried out a survey and interviews with teachers who had trained at Southampton and were now qualified, to evaluate the potential longer-term effects of the programme on teachers’ self-reported attitudes and perceived confidence and competence to teach PSHE and promote health and well-being in schools, up to three years after their training. Dr Pickett will be presenting a selection of the survey findings in a poster presentation at the Public Health Science Conference in London on 13th November 2015. The conference presentation abstract is available in a special supplement to The Lancet.

For more information about SHTAC’s public health research, including research into school-based health promotion, please visit our Research page. More information about the health education programme for trainee teachers and the University of Southampton’s previous research evaluating its impact can be found on the School Health page of the University’s Population Health University Strategic Research Group website.

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