Healthy Schools programme
Evidence that health and education are closely linked is strong. The rationale for taking a ‘Healthy Schools’ approach is clear. Promoting health and wellbeing in schools and colleges can improve both educational and health and wellbeing outcomes (PHE, 2014).
The educational and emotional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic make the development of whole-school approaches to health improvement more important than ever.
The East Sussex Healthy Schools programme builds on previous evidence-based local approaches. It is supported by East Sussex Public Health and the East Sussex School Health Service.
The programme brings together:
- the School Health Check (enabling you to achieve Healthy Schools Status)
- a new pupil survey for Year 6, Year 9 and post 16 students, My Health, My School, and
- a new updated PSHE offer from the School Health Service.
The Healthy Schools programme supports schools to recognise and celebrate achievements in whole-school health improvement. It provides a simple way to collate evidence that will be useful for Ofsted inspection judgement areas.
2. School Health Check
The School Health Check is an online tool for schools to self-evaluate across four core themes:
- Healthy eating
- Physical activity
- Emotional health and wellbeing, and
Each theme is linked to 10 strands identified in the whole-school approach. Your school can use the tool to highlight areas of strength and areas in need of development (aligned to Ofsted descriptors). From this, you can identify clear next steps which are automatically put into an online action plan.
Health Improvement Specialists from the School Health Service can support you in the process by offering:
- guidance, and
- signposting to high quality resources.
The School Health Check is funded for all East Sussex schools until March 2023.
To register for the School Health Check:
- Go to Healthy Schools and click ‘Register’.
- In the ‘Local Authority’ drop-down list select ‘East Sussex’ and then select your school’s name
- Complete any blank sections with your school’s details and click ‘Create an account’. In billing information, please enter ‘East Sussex County Council’ in every box
- You will then receive email confirmation of your registration and will be provided with access to your account.
3. Achieving Healthy School status
After successful submission of your School Health Check self-assessment, your school can gain self-validated Healthy Schools status.
You can then choose to gain a further Healthy Schools Excellence Award. Both awards recognise:
- your school’s achievements
- your ongoing commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of children, staff and families.
The differences between Healthy Schools status and the Excellence Award are below.
Self-validated Healthy Schools status
After completing the School Health Check your school receives a certificate valid for three years. You must self-evaluate as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ for most criteria and pass a light-touch quality assurance process.
The East Sussex Healthy Schools Excellence Award
To gain ‘enhanced’ Healthy School status and the Excellence Award, your school can participate in an external validation visit and submit a case study.
4. My Health, My School survey
The My Health, My School survey gathers children and young people’s views, behaviours and choices about their health and wellbeing.
The survey is available for year groups 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13, as well as provision for SEND pupils. It is easy to use and provides schools/colleges with instant access to their data.
It is free for all schools in East Sussex.
The summary of survey responses can:
- assist with development or update of your whole-school health improvement action plan (part of the School Health Check)
- help you plan and deliver more effective PSHE education tailored to your school community
- inform planning of targeted support services and pastoral care practice
- provide evidence that will support Ofsted inspections on whole-school improvement work.
Schools and colleges taking up the survey will also get a wealth of support materials. School staff are guided on the safe, anonymous completion of the survey. Pupils are given slide sets and other materials to help them understand what they are being asked and why. This includes a pupil diary, provided a week before the survey. Pre- and post-lesson plans are also available.
The East Sussex School Health Service can support your school to use the survey and plan activities from the responses.
We encourage uptake of the My Health, My School survey as part of your whole- school approach. We see it as a crucial component of the East Sussex Healthy Schools Programme.
To register for the My Health, My School survey please contact The East Sussex School Health Service mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note it can take up to 7 days to get your survey activated.
5. PSHE support offer
We know from our ongoing work and consultation with schools that some areas of the new statutory Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education curriculum may be more challenging to deliver than others.
We have developed an initial programme of PSHE support for schools. This covers the delivery of lessons on topics such as:
- infection control
- the changing adolescent body
- sexual relationships
Further support will be introduced later in the year, informed by the needs of PSHE Education leads and teaching staff. This will include:
- termly webinar workshops designed to increase confidence on specific topics
- support to facilitate pupil voice activities, parent engagement and policy development.
The School Health Service’s PSHE offer is to complement the work of the East Sussex PSHE Hubs.
Contact the School Health Service for more information.