Guidelines for engaging guest speakers

Enlisting the help of others within the community can benefit and value-add to your school/classroom program. Member Agencies of the WAHPSA embrace a Health Promoting Schools approach and recognise the importance of communicating health issues to a student and school audience. To ensure all presenters recognise the importance of HPS, follow the tips.

Before inviting a guest speaker to your school ensure that you know exactly what you want to gain by having the guest speaker.

Regardless of the topic being addressed, a ‘one off’ isolated school presentation can have little impact on a student’s health behaviour. To help assess whether a guest speaker is relevant for your program consider the following points.

  • What is the purpose of the presentation?
  • What will have occurred in the curriculum in terms of the specific health topic prior to this session?
  • Have the learning outcomes of the proposed session been clearly outlined?
  • Will the speaker enhance rather than replace the role of the class teacher?
  • How will the speaker be briefed on the health program into which the presentation fits?
  • Do parents need to be informed of the presentation and if so how will this happen?
  • Is there an information session available for parents?
  • Will the presentation be part of an ongoing health education program?
  • Are the materials and information appropriate to the developmental level of the student?
  • Do the resources need to be previewed by school staff before being used with students?
  • Do the resources reflect the philosophy of your school?
  • What followup will be done with the students and by whom?
  • What school staff will be present during the session?

(Adapted from School Drug Education and Road Aware). 7.

Schools are encouraged to use a request form for engaging a guest speaker to ensure that the purpose of the presentation is clear, the information covered is appropriate and the event is something that value adds to the program being conducted.


  1. World Health Organization. 2000. Local Action: Creating Health Promoting Schools. WHO, UNESCO, EDC. Accessed May 18, 2015.
  2. World Health Organisation. 2015 Promoting health through schools – Global School Health Initiative. (Accessed 18 May. 2015)
  3. International Union for Health Promotion and Education. 2009. Achieving Health Promoting Schools: Guidelines for Promoting Health in Schools. France.
  4. Gillies, Dimitrijevich, Lambert. 2011. What is Health Promoting Schools? (Accessed 18 May, 2015).
  5. World Health Organisation. 2015. What is Health Promoting School? (Accessed 18 May, 2015)
  6. Seffrin, J. R. 1990. The Comprehensive School Health Curriculum: Closing the Gap Between State-of the-Art and State-of-the-Practice. Journal of School Health 60 (4):151-156. (accessed May 18, 2015)
  7. School Drug Education and Road Aware. 2015. CHAT Changing Health Acting Together: A Guide for Implementing a Whole-School Approach in Resilience, Drug and Road Safety Education. SDERA. Perth. Western Australia.


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