A health promoting school is one that constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working.
A health promoting school:
- Fosters health and learning with all the measures at its disposal.
- Engages health and education officials, teachers, teachers' unions, students, parents, health providers and community leaders in efforts to make the school a healthy place.
- Strives to provide a healthy environment, school health education, and school health services along with school/community projects and outreach, health promotion programmes for staff, nutrition and food safety programmes, opportunities for physical education and recreation, and programmes for counselling, social support and mental health promotion.
- Implements policies and practices that respect an individual's well being and dignity, provides multiple opportunities for success, and acknowledges good efforts and intentions as well as personal achievements.
- Strives to improve the health of school personnel, families and community members as well as pupils; and works with community leaders to help them understand how the community contributes to, or undermines, health and education.
Health promoting schools focus on:
- Caring for oneself and others.
- Making healthy decisions and taking control over life's circumstances.
- Creating conditions that are conducive to health (through policies, services, physical/social conditions).
- Building capacities for peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, equity, social justice, sustainable development.
- Preventing leading causes of death, disease and disability: helminths, tobacco use, HIV/AIDS/STDs, sedentary lifestyle, drugs and alcohol, violence and injuries, unhealthy nutrition.
- Influencing health-related behaviours: knowledge, beliefs, skills, attitudes, values, support.
Crana College is proud to support the World Health Organisation in promoting school health programmes as a strategic means to prevent important health risks among youth and to engage the education sector in efforts to change the educational, social, economic and political conditions that affect risk.
What are the benefits of a Health Promoting School?
There is a strong evidence base for engaging in the Health Promoting School process. Ongoing evaluations of the Schools for Health in Europe Network report the following outcomes:
- Better learning outcomes for students
- Improved staff well-being
- A more co-ordinated approach to social, physical and environmental needs
- Increased student self-esteem
- Lowered incidence of bullying
- School environment is safer and more secure
- Better understanding of a school’s health aims
- Improved relationships within the school
- More involvement of parents
- Better use of external agencies.