Locala is brightening smiles to help special school pupils in Calderdale

Locala is brightening smiles to help special school pupils in Calderdale

As part of National Smile Month, Locala colleagues helped teachers and parents of pupils at two special schools to help improve their oral health.

Locala’s Oral Health and Dental Care teams are running a programme of support and information at Woodbank School and that has now been extended to Highbury School too.

Teachers are receiving training on how to support pupils with caring for and brushing their teeth and the first of a series of information events for parents was also run last half-term so they can improve the dental care of their children.

In addition, the service has also produced a new information leaflet for parents and carers which is now available online ( and is being distributed by schools, health organisations and parents groups in Calderdale.

The new leaflet has been produced with support from the schools and the Unique Ways a parent-carer led charity in Calderdale.

Catherine King, Oral Health Improvement Specialist from Locala has been working on the leaflet alongside Karen Ormerod, dental professional from the Dental Care Team. Catherine said: “It’s been great to extend our work into Highbury School and the response from the staff and parents has been really positive as they can clearly see the health benefits this brings.

“It’s so important that parents and professionals have the right information so they can help the children, many of whom have complex needs, to have good oral health.”

Debbie Sweet, Head Teacher at Highbury School said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this programme as the school is always keen to accept help and advice from services that can benefit our children and parents/carers.
“The knowledge that is being shared is really helpful and has given us a clear message on why oral health is important. We’ve also had a range of practical advice, even down to things like knowing the kinds of toothbrushes and toothpastes available and how to store them hygienically.”

Along with Woodbank and Highbury, Ravenscliffe School is also supporting the programme with a parent session in school and distribution of the leaflet to parents.

The leaflet is also being distributed to parent carers and organisation in Kirklees with support from PCAN Kirklees, an independent, parent-led forum.

Locala’s work in Calderdale is part of the Calderdale Healthy Early Years with Calderdale Public Health; covering Health Visiting, Oral Health and Breastfeeding Support. To find out more visit

National Smile Month was organised by the Oral Health Foundation and aims to improve oral health by some simple steps everyone can take:

• Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
• Cut down on how much sugary food and drink you have, and how often you have them.
• Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

You can find out more at