Tooth brushing supervisor sought by school chiefs

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A TOOTHBRUSHING supervisor is being recruited by a Scottish school on a salary equivalent to £18,000-a-year.

The part-time worker at Dounby Primary, on Orkney’s main island, will “encourage” tots to clean their teeth at lunchtimes.

Orkney officials say the post will help reduce levels of tooth decay among children.

But critics claimed the appointment is a “patronising non-job” that should be done by parents.

The job advert from Orkney Islands Council reads: “We are looking for an individual to help deliver a daily toothbrushing programme for children in Dounby Primary School.

“Experience of working with children particularly in a school setting along with a basic knowledge / interest in oral health improvement would be an advantage.

Dounby Primary, on Orkney - the soon-to-be office of one toothbrushing supervisor
Dounby Primary, on Orkney – the soon-to-be office of one toothbrushing supervisor

“While your role is not to brush children’s teeth you will be there to encourage the children to brush their teeth well and develop this important lifetime habit.”

The job is advertised at 11.25 hours per week, meaning that the supervisor of toothbrushing will earn in the region of £6,000-a-year.

Alex Wild, Research Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The important job of teaching children how to brush their teeth has traditionally been carried out by a private sector workforce known as parents.

“It’s extraordinary that at a time when councils and the NHS are pleading poverty they see fit to waste money on non-jobs like this, patronising the people who pay their wages in the process.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Orkney said: “We have a number of these posts in the larger schools in Orkney.

“The daily toothbrushing programme, part of the national Childsmile programme, has been shown across Scotland to have been successful in contributing to the reduction of tooth decay amongst young children.

“We took the decision to invest in this programme and support our larger schools, obviously with larger numbers of children, to ensure toothbrushing happens every day.”

Childsmile is the Scottish Government’s oral health improvement programme for
children.

It was launched in 2006 as a result of poor oral health and inequalities observed in children in Scotland.

Over 1,000 children aged five or under had teeth removed last year in the Greater Glasgow area.

Almost a quarter of Scottish children having teeth extracted came from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

In total, 4,290, children five or under had to have teeth removed last year.

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