Equity, education and health: 4th European Conference on Health Promoting Schools

7–9 October, Odense, Denmark

  • Health promotion in schools improves learning – what action can we take?
  • Equal opportunities – how can schools contribute?
  • Policies work – why don’t we use them?
  • Interventions are more successful in well-off children – how can we extend the benefits to other children?
  • Better education, more equity, better health – what is schools’ role in achieving these?

These are some of the issues to be addressed at the 4th European Conference on Health Promoting Schools, held in Odense, Denmark. The Conference focuses on equity, education and health, and equity’s links with sustainability, social inclusion, innovation and change. It aims to consolidate, strengthen and support the sharing of research, policy and practice related to school-based health promotion across Europe, and outline what can be done to promote equity in health and education.

The 250 Conference participants include decision-makers, researchers and practitioners from the health, education and social sectors; government, nongovernmental, local and youth organizations; and academic institutions.

Research findings on child health and educational achievement

  • Overall child health status affects educational performance and attainment.
  • Evidence indicates that smoking or poor nutrition has a greater negative effect on educational outcomes than alcohol consumption or drug use.
  • Initial research has found that physical exercise has a significant positive impact on academic performance.
  • Obesity and overweight are associated negatively with educational outcomes.
  • Sleeping disorders can hinder academic performance.