Health promoting schools

Schools can make a substantial contribution to young people's health and well-being, and subsequently in the adult life. A range of strategies and programmes (Health Promoting Schools, Comprehensive School Health, Child Friendly Schools and the FRESH initiative) that share a connecting thread of a Whole School Approach have evolved in the last twenty years, recognizing that all aspects of the life of the school community are potentially important in the promotion of health. This approach goes beyond health education classes in the curriculum and explores how schools can fulfill their potential in promoting the health of all our young people.


In the current context, it appears there is a developing understanding of the interlinked relationship between school education and health, reflected by the prominence given to school education in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the increasing need for equitable health in all settings.


The IUHPE is actively engaged in these global efforts through a number of activities aiming:

  • to highlight the unique potential of schools to promote both health and education outcomes, based on a solid body of evidence developed in the past;

  • to contribute to reducing unacceptable health inequities that exist in our world; and

  • to address the issues that hinder more effective school health, including encouraging dialogue and endorsement by health and education officials, and building capacity and advancing knowledge in low- and middle-income countries.


Read the brief presentation of the project


Developing Resources for school health promotion

One of the principal mission of the IUHPE was to develop, or to contribute to the development of useful resources for professionals in the school health promotion.

All these resources can be found on the School Health section of the IUHPE thematic compilation of resources.


Organizing events

The IUHPE has organizeind, or co-organized, a number of events to advance knowledge on and exchange around school health promotion.

Some examples:


Contributing to webinars

The International School Health Network (ISHN) has emerged as a means to communicate information and encourage the use of comprehensive approaches to school-based health promotion/health promoting schools.


In cooperation with the IUHPE and other organisations, the ISHN organises a series of webinars on different aspects of school health indicators. The webinars have been designed to be relevant to government officials, practitioners and researchers, who are concerned with school health promotion at the international, national and state/provincial level and will present policy and data collection options for monitoring the health status/behaviours of children/youth, their health literacy, knowledge and skills, and the status/capacity of relevant school health programmes and policies.


To access webinar background information and view the digital recordings, follow the links below. To participate in upcoming webinars, contact Doug McCall, ISHN Coordinator.


Webinars Series I: School Health Monitoring and Reporting
  • National Monitoring & Reporting Systems (Case Study: United States; Case study: Hong-Kong; Case study: Canada)

  • Towards Monitoring Results in Health Education: Concepts, Measures and Work in Progress

  • Monitoring and Reporting on School Health Programs in Low Income Countries: Overview and the Use of the Global Student Health Survey

  • The Health Behaviours of School-Age Children: Uses of Health and School Connectedness Data in European Countries