Healthy schools makes a difference.
Evidence shows there is a significant link between health improvement and educational attainment. Evidence from phase one of the National Healthy Schools Programme showed that schools involved in the programme were improving faster in terms of health behaviours than other schools. They scored higher on 9 out of 11 Ofsted indicators and achieved higher SATs results in Key Stages 1 & 2. Children and young people of all ages reported a range of positive outcomes such as feeling less likely to be bullied, feeling as though they had more of a say in the running of the school and enjoying it more. Pupils also reported a reduced likelihood of using illegal drugs.
"Children spend a lot of time at schools so they need to lead by example."
"Healthy children learn more."
- Kent parents
The Healthy Schools Programme provides a fully supported whole school approach which contributes towards raising pupil achievement and at the same time will provide opportunities to enhance the health and well-being of pupils, staff and the wider community. Gaining Healthy School status provides rigorous evidence for Ofsted on how a school is meeting the five national outcomes for children highlighted in Every Child Matters and the Children Act (2004) and assists a school in evidencing their self-evaluation form (SEF) and completing the new school profile. Schools can also use the healthy schools whole school approach as a framework to bring about sustained school improvement.
The programme builds on what schools are already doing and complements other initiatives and existing efforts to promote PSHE, physical activity, healthy eating and emotional health and wellbeing for example the Food in Schools agenda. Taking part in the programme also helps address key targets within other national priorities including:
"If a child can see a support network which includes teachers, school staff and peers they will feel secure in being themselves and will know they do not need drugs, drink etc to be accepted."
"Children’s health is paramount. Healthy children are happy children."
- Kent parents
|Schools may also find that taking part in the programme does not require considerable additional resourcing but rather provides an opportunity to assess, reorganise and consolidate existing practice and resources. |
Gaining healthy school status should not be seen as a one-off activity or in isolation from other initiatives such as the Extended Schools Programme. The process should be used to complement and strengthen existing and planned work. It enables schools to identify gaps in provision and help build this work into their overall School Improvement Plan, enabling them to address a range of national and local priorities.
The Kent Healthy Schools Programme is an accredited part of the National Healthy Schools Programme led by the Department of Health and Department for Education and Skills. Kent’s Local Area Agreement contains a number of targets dedicated to Healthy Schools work.