MAKING comprehensive health education compulsory in schools would benefit generations of youngsters, says a city MP.
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott spoke out as co-chairman of as All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health.
The group has recommended to Ministers that comprehensive health education be a statutory requirement in the national curriculum, not just something left up to the discretion of individual schools.
Mrs Elliott said: “During the course of the inquiry we heard details of excellent school resources which, if mainstreamed, could have an enormously beneficial influence on children that will impact on their future health and their behaviour as patients and future parents.”
The findings of the Fulwell mother-of-four and her colleagues have been set out in a white paper, Healthy Lives, Healthy People.
They include giving school nurses a key role in implementing school education, and the continued funding of “excellent interventions” such as Sure Start centres – available in Sunderland, Washington, Easington and Seaham.
The group also urged that the transition period for health reforms is not rushed, enabling Government, Primary Care Trusts, councils, Strategic Health Authorities and GP consortia to work effectively together.