Health promoting schools are developing throughout Europe.

The European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS) (now called Schools for Health in Europe) was formally inaugurated in 1992 as part of a collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission (EC) and the Council of Europe (CoE). It was set up to establish a group of model schools in each country that would demonstrate the impact of health promotion on the school setting and then disseminate their experience.

Following Welsh involvement in ENHPS, Better Health Better Wales (1998) signalled the need to develop a Wales Network of Healthy Schools.

This was refined to a network of local schemes, the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes (WNHSS), and listed as one of the actions in Promoting health and well being: Implementing the national health promotion strategy (2001).

Ceredigion Healthy Schools Scheme has been operating since December 2000. Schools have been recruited in phases, with 83% members currently on board. It is intended that all schools should be offered the opportunity to join the scheme by 2010. The scheme is managed by the public health team of the Ceredigion Local Health Board and close links are maintained with education through the co-ordinator and advisory staff who sit on the schemes steering group. The steering group is a multi-agency partnership, with representation from a variety of organisations that are interested in health and well-being. The group exists to advise and support the co-ordinators in implementing the scheme at a local level.

A health promoting school has been defined by the WNHSS as one which actively promotes and protects the physical, mental and social well-being of its community through positive action by such means as policy, strategic planning and staff development with regard to its curriculum, ethos, physical environment and community relations.

However you may find some of the following definitions informative too.

A health promoting school is...

  • a happy school

A health promoting school is...

  • a caring community which is concerned with the health of all its members, pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff and all those who interact with it

A health promoting school...

  • encourages pupils to recognise that what they do counts – that we all affect one anothers lives

A health promoting school...

  • recognises that health education is not just taught in the classroom, but is supported and re-inforced in the daily life of the school and local community

A health promoting school...

  • provides all the information pupils require about nutrition, exercise, relationships, sex, smoking, drugs and alcohol and encourages them to take responsibility for their own actions

The Ceredigion Healthy Schools Scheme has adopted twelve aims, as identified by the WNHSS.

  1. To actively promote the self esteem of all members of the school community
  2. To actively develop good relationships in the daily life of the school
  3. To identify, develop and communicate a positive ethos and appropriate social values within the school community
  4. To ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to benefit from stimulating educational challenges
  5. To take every opportunity to enhance the environment of the school
  6. To develop good school/home/community links and shared activities
  7. To encourage all staff to fulfill their health promoting role, through staff development and training
  8. To develop and implement a coherent health education curriculum
  9. To establish good links with associated schools to ensure smooth transition, both socially and in relation to a developmental health education programme
  10. To develop the school as a health promoting workplace with a commitment to the health and well being of all staff
  11. To develop the complementary role of all school policies to the health education curriculum, such that the curriculum reflects the contents of the policy and the policy reinforces the curriculum
  12. To develop partnerships with appropriate agencies and individuals, including the school health service, for advice and active support for health education and health promotion in the school