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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

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© 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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2019
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
APA6 Citation 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.
Keywords cleft lip and palate, school, education, achievement, teacher, visible difference
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : © 2019. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications


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