Health promoting schools- the Schools for Health in Europe network (SHE)

Schools can contribute to improving the health and well-being of children and young people. School offers many opportunities for children and young people to develop a positive outlook on life and a healthy lifestyle. Health promoting schools contribute to schools achieving their main goals – the provision of good education and clear standards and fewer dropouts. They offer a structured and systematic plan for the health, well-being and the development of all pupils and of teaching and non-teaching staff.

The health promoting school approach demonstrates how health and education goals can come together and is based on more than three decades of science-based and practice-based experience throughout the European region. As a setting approach it demonstrates a proven effective example of health in all policies.

Why is health promotion in the school setting important?

Health promotion in a school setting is important because health and education are intrinsically linked which means:

  • healthy children are more likely to learn effectively;
  • education plays an important role in economic prosperity and staying healthy later in life;
  • promoting the health of school staff can lead to greater work satisfaction and reduced absenteeism;
  • actively promoting health in schools can aid schools and policy makers alike in reaching their academic, social and economic targets.

Working together to make their schools better places in which to learn and work, pupils and school staff take action to benefit their physical, mental and social health. In the process, they gain knowledge and skills that improve the outcomes of education.