What is the Healthy Schools Programme?
The Essex Healthy Schools Programme is a school health improvement strategy which builds on the commitment within our school to improve the health and wellbeing of our young people.
We are provided with a strategic framework to reflect on the relationship between health and achievement. This maximises the potential for development and innovation at a school level to improve health and wellbeing.
A two-stage process is offered to help us identify and develop the approaches that will assist us with health improvement. This process is based on the national framework but has been streamlined and localised in the light of feedback from schools and partner agencies.
Feedback has shown:
Children and young people tell us that they feel healthier, happier and safer in school when wellbeing is a key part of the school ethos and environment
Healthy Schools work can be a great way of involving parents and carers in school life
Schools in Essex have been leaders in embracing wellbeing since taking part in the National Healthy Schools pilot in 1999
A healthy school seeks to provide a healthy environment that engages all – children & young people, staff, parents/carers and the wider community through a whole school approach.
The whole school approach is an extremely effective, evidence-based school improvement mechanism that brings about and embeds cultural change in schools.
Core themes in our work include:
Personal, social and health education
Emotional health and wellbeing
Parents, carers and community
The Foundation Stage enabled us to gain and maintain Healthy School status against a criterion that supports all aspects of health including the PSHE and SRE agenda. It also helps to provide the first step in identifying priorities for Enhancement. We are able to use a locally produced benchmarking tool against which we self-evaluate. We are supported with this process by the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service.
The Foundation Stage is revalidated every two years, again using the benchmarking tool.
We can choose to stay at foundation level but must revalidate every 2 years and evaluation using the benchmarking document should reflect some progress.
Enhancement has been designed to help us develop the wider thinking and planning they will need to do in order to achieve better outcomes around health and well-being for children and young people.
It has also been designed to help us to strive for lasting health and wellbeing behaviour changes in children and young people, with particular focus on providing targeted support for those who are most at risk.
The model follows a needs-led outcomes focused approach to ensure we put in place the most appropriate services and meet the needs of their own children and young people.
This is through the form of a written action plan where we identify two universal outcomes (qualitative and quantitative) and one targeted outcome.
We are supported to achieve this stage through the commissioned coordination service and will receive additional support from the commissioned health improvement services to achieve their targeted outcomes (where available).
The range of support offered to schools includes:
Local needs assessment/school data
Identifying priorities and outcomes – universal and targeted
Assisting with development of action plan – Action Plan workshops
Interventions to support delivery of the targeted part of the action plan and achievement of outcomes
Supporting monitoring procedures
Supporting evidence of impact
Supporting the writing of the ‘school story’
We are currently approaching the end of our first year of application for enhanced status which is expected to take us two years to complete. Once this is approved our enhanced status will last for 3 years.
Please refer to Poplar Press within the Student Area