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Bad health affects learning: Study

Published: 6:21PM Thursday February 09, 2006 Source: One News

New research has found that one in three children start school with health problems that could seriously harm their education.

The research has prompted an intensive study at a Christchurch high school, aimed at helping all students get better grades.

Students at Linwood College will undergo a range of medical checks on their eyes, ears, teeth and even their mental health to pick up problems that may be stopping them from learning.

Study director Alan Parris says if students can't see the board or can't hear what's going on they simply can't learn.

Preliminary research last year revealed that among other things 30% of the students in the study hadn't seen a dentist for up to three years.

"We're probably indicative of quite a few schools around the country - if it's happening here, it will be happening elsewhere," says Parris.

Student Koryn Arthur is looking forward to the tests.

"I think it's quite good just to know if something is wrong with you and you can get it fixed for free," she says.

Linwood College principal Rob Burrough agrees.

"They will feel more satisfied and more positive in their learning which has obvious spin-offs both in the classroom, at school and at home."