Background Information

“Good health supports successful learning. Successful learning supports health. Education and health are inseparable. Worldwide as we promote health, we can see our significant investment in education yield the greatest benefits.1.”
Dr Desmond O’Byrne. Health Promotion, Non-communicable Disease Prevention and Surveillance, WHO 2000.

The World Health Organisation has championed Health Promoting Schools since 1995, launching WHO’s Global School Health Initiative with a focus to mobilise and strengthen health promotion and education activities at the local, national, regional and global levels.2. The Initiative was designed to improve the health of students, school personnel, families and other members of the community through schools. Western Australian schools have recognised the value of a Health Promoting Schools’ focus and have worked with WA Health Promoting Schools Association member agencies.

Schools who adopt a Health Promoting Schools (HPS) Framework will tell you that although hard work and commitment is needed by the whole school community, the benefits to the students, staff, parents and wider community are enormous.3. Schools can make a substantial contribution to a student’s health and wellbeing. Schools recognising and implementing a whole school approach acknowledge that all aspects of the life of the school community are potentially important in the promotion of health. The whole school approach recognises that it is necessary to do more than just offer health education classes in the curriculum if schools are to fulfil their potential in promoting the health of all our young people.

The What is Health Promoting Schools? resource has used Case Study examples of Western Australian Primary and Secondary schools that have adopted a successful HPS Framework within their school. These schools recognise that using a HPS Framework is widely recognised as best practice, promoting a positive approach to a student’s health and wellbeing. Reading about the experiences of these schools through their case studies will outline the necessary steps needed to guide schools in their efforts to become a genuine Health Promoting School.4.

Further information to support schools (developed as part of the Western Australian Healthy Schools Project) is available here.

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