Health Promoting School

Schools - health promotion

In 1995, the World Health Organisation (WHO) set out the following broad definition of Health Promoting Schools, which is still relevant today:

'A health promoting school is one in which all members of the school community work together to provide pupils with integrated and positive experiences and structures, which promote and protec their health. This includes both the formal and informal curriculum, the creation of a safe and healthy school environment, the provision of appropriate health services and the involvement of the family and wider community in efforts to promote health.'

Health Promoting Schools adopt a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, promoting the physical, social, spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing of whole school population and wider community. (The term 'school' should be taken to mean primary school, secondary school, nursery centre and class, enhanced provision schools and all other types of educational establishment.

There are 6 characteristics of a health promoting school. Although they are listed separately, the characteristics need to be integrated in practice:

  • leadership and management
  • ethos
  • partnership working
  • curriculum, learning and teaching
  • personal, social and health education
  • environment, resources and facilities

In 2004, the Scottish Executive launched "Being Well Doing Well" the framework for health promoting schools. All schools were given the target to become health promoting schools by the end of 2007. The scheme builds on these targets and supports schools to further embed health and wellbeing within the school community.