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Teachers’ Perspectives on the Impact of Cleft Lip and/or Palate During the School Years

Stock, Nicola Marie; Ridley, Matthew; Guest, Ella

Teachers’ Perspectives on the Impact of Cleft Lip and/or Palate During the School Years Thumbnail


Nicola Stock
Occasional Associate Lecturer - CHSS - HSS

Ella Guest
Occasional Associate Lecturer - CHSS - HSS


© 2018, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. Background: Cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) poses many challenges for those affected throughout the school years, with recent studies pointing to a trend in poor educational outcomes. Previous research has highlighted the important role that teachers play in supporting young people with chronic health conditions yet studies in the field of CL/P suggest that teachers may lack knowledge of the condition, and underestimate pupils’ academic ability. Qualitative investigation of the impact of CL/P from the teacher’s perspective may provide additional insight as well as potential suggestions for improving the school experience for affected pupils. Methods: Twenty UK preschool, primary, and secondary school teachers with experience of teaching pupils with CL/P completed an open-ended survey, eliciting qualitative data. Results: Qualitative content analysis was performed. Data were presented under 5 key headings: Knowledge of CL/P and its effects, perceived impact of CL/P on education, teachers’ training needs, delivery of training, and impact of CL/P on teachers. Teachers were able to identify a number of potential social, emotional, and treatment-related challenges within the school setting, yet did not believe that CL/P would have a long-term impact on pupils’ educational achievement. Participating teachers reported that cleft-specific training and access to relevant resources would be highly beneficial. Conclusions: Acting as a platform for future research, this exploratory study provides insight into the challenges faced by teachers and offers suggestions for how to improve teachers’ understanding of CL/P, and their confidence in dealing with cleft-related issues.


Stock, N. M., Ridley, M., & Guest, E. (2019). Teachers’ Perspectives on the Impact of Cleft Lip and/or Palate During the School Years. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 56(2), 204-209.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 27, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 13, 2018
Publication Date Feb 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 29, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 28, 2018
Journal Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Print ISSN 1055-6656
Electronic ISSN 1545-1569
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 2
Pages 204-209
Keywords cleft lip and palate, school, education, achievement, teacher, visible difference
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : © 2019. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications


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