New findings published on Healthy Schools

Last Modified by Sophie Grut on Sunday, 17 May 2009

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This week, three independent research reports are published which contribute to our evidence of the positive benefits Healthy Schools is bringing about to the health and well-being of children and young people:

·         An Evaluation of the National Healthy Schools Programme: Interim Report(NatCen, 2009). Department of Health commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to undertake a three-year evaluation. They are tracking a wide range of schools from their early stages of joining NHSP, to establish the impact that the Programme is having upon schools and upon children and young people.  

This interim report includes findings from a survey of over 10,000 primary and secondary children and young people in nearly 150 primary and 90 secondary schools conducted by NatCen during autumn term 2007, and a follow up survey with the same schools will take place this autumn. In depth interviews in 24 of these schools have also enabled NatCen to explore how and where the programme is making a significant contribution, demonstrating that primarily schools are using NHSP to reflect on their current policies and make changes.                          

·         Relationship between National Healthy School Status (NHSS) and selected school outcomes (NatCen, 2009). NatCen have analysed existing national health and education datasets for school year 2006/7 to explore whether achieving and working towards NHSS is associated with better outcomes. They have found small but significant links between achieving and working towards NHSS, and each of the following:  better Ofsted ratings of school effectiveness; lower total and unauthorised pupil absence; higher contextual value added scores, and higher levels of pupil participation in high quality PE.

 ·         National Healthy Schools Programme: developing the evidence base (TCRU, 2009). This report draws together existing evidence relating to healthy school approaches. It reviews international evidence about the effectiveness of health promoting schools initiatives, explores evidence for the link between health and education outcomes and pulls together findings from local evaluations of the National Healthy Schools Programme. 

The report has two important conclusions: that whole school approaches to promoting health can impact on health and education outcomes, and that NHSP is widely perceived as having an impact on schools. In particular, it has been perceived to bring about changes associated with improved learning among pupils – such as improved concentration, greater participation in physical activity, and increased confidence.

The full reports are available to read and download from the Support Materials section of this website at the below link. 



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