NIGZ as a WHO collaborating centre for school health promotion is responsible for the management of the Schools for Health in Europe network – SHE network. The SHE network focuses on making school health promotion a more integral part of policy development in the health sector and the education sector in the EU member states. SHE encourages each member state to develop and implement a national policy on school health promotion.
SHE uses a positive concept of health and well-being and acknowledges the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The SHE core values are equity, sustainability, inclusion, empowerment and democracy. SHE recognizes the whole school approach to health and active participation of all members of the school community. Health promoting schools support schools in achieving their educational and social goals. Healthy students learn better, healthy teachers work better. They are active agents in the community for strengthening social capital and health literacy.
The SHE network has a strong foundation in its precursor - the European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS)-, founded in 1992 by WHO Euro, the Council of Europe and the European Union, with its experience of developing and sustaining health promoting schools. It has demonstrated progress on an international level with emphasizing the role of schools in improving the health of children and young people, both in EU policy papers and statements (such as the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing, the EU white paper on nutrition, overweight and obesity). On a national level the SHE network has demonstrated progress in establishing and implementing health promoting schools as part of the core work of schools in a number of member countries and has made progress in increasing the cooperation between the health sector and the education sector.
The main aim of the SHE network is to support organisations and professionals to further develop and sustain school health promotion in each country by providing the European platform for school health promotion. The five general objectives for the period 2008-2012 are:
1. Maintain, and expand SHE to, a leading international network and community for school health promotion.
- In 2012 all 53 countries in the WHO European region have a SHE coordinator.
- In 2012 the SHE network has made partnerships with organisations from the following areas: research, public health, education, organisations for youth, parents, teachers and school leaders.
- Advocate for and participate in school health promotion at a European and national political level.
- Being involved in European and national high level debates and development of issues relating to young people and schools, and health inequalities.
- Establish SHE summer school on school health promotion.
- Promote among SHE coordinators and SHE research group the publication of at least 1 article per year on school health promotion in Europe in a peer-reviewed journal.
2. Support the development, implementation and research (evaluation/ evidence) of school health promotion in Europe
- further develop the health promoting school approach
- extend and improve the evidence base for school health promotion
- encourage knowledge and best practice on school health promotion
- stimulate development and implementation of good practices on introducing and implementing school health promotion
- stimulate evaluation and evidence on health and learning outcomes
- stimulate development and collaboration of teacher education and in service education
3. Provide ongoing technical support in member states, with an emphasis on the member countries in Eastern Europe and the Central Asian Republics (EECA countries)
- facilitate the introduction and dissemination of HEPS deliverables in EECA countries
- in 2009, 2010 and 2011 capacity building and training activity is offered to SHE coordinators with an emphasis on EECA countries
4. Create and maintain active collaboration with the education sector and other relevant and connected sectors (youth issues, social care, environment and sustainable development) on a national and international level
- enhance with the education sector and health sector on an international and national level
- enhance between the health sector and other relevant sectors (youth care, social care, environment and sustainable development) on a European and national level
- clarify links between health promoting schools with related initiatives in education such as sustainable schools, safe schools, eco-schools, and child-friendly schools
- establish formal links with related European networks (including EPA, European Youth Forum, Eurohealthnet)
- to establish with other international health promoting networks (IUHPE, ISHN)
5. Increase the profile and visibility of SHE network
- develop the SHE communication plan
- update and expand the SHE website
- position the SHE website as the central information point for school health in Europe
- provide information on school health promotion via the SHE newsletter
- maintain the SHE helpdesk
- stimulate peer support among members of the SHE network
For each objective indicators have been developed, which are formulated in the SHE strategic plan 2008-2012. The strategic plan has been ratified during the 2nd SHE assembly meeting in February 2009.
The main activities for the SHE network are:
- identify and share relevant information on school health;
- encourage research;
- share good practice, expertise and skills;
- act as advocates for school health promotion.
Based on the SHE strategic plan 2008-2012 the annual SHE work plan is prepared by NIGZ in collaboration with the SHE planning committee and advisory board and accepted by SHE assembly.
The overall aim of SHE is to support the development of health promoting schools in a sustainable and strategic way and to act as the European platform on school health promotion.
Objectives for 2010:
1. To make an overview of the existing evidence and links between the health promoting school approach and reducing health inequalities
2. To identify immediate, medium and long term needs of SHE national coordinators
3. To design and deliver a programme to respond to the identified needs of SHE national coordinators
4. To establish a peer mentoring system for SHE national coordinators
5. To provide support and expertise to SHE national coordinators in strengthening national structures for health promotion through the school setting
6. To design and deliver a summer school for the main SHE stakeholders
7. To support transfer of knowledge among SHE stakeholders
- Writing the SHE workplan 2010.
- Making an update of existing literature on the links between health promoting schools and reducing health inequalities. The work will be done with support of the SHE research group and NIGZ department of Knowledge and Quality. The update identifies research areas for future development on the issue. The review will draw together evidence of effective methodologies, approaches and ways of working for health promotion in schools.
- Undertaking a comprehensive needs assessment of all SHE national coordinators to identify immediate, medium and long term development needs to ensure strategic and sustainable health promoting school developments. A report on the needs assessment will be delivered.
- Developing and delivering a programme for ongoing professional capacity building of SHE national coordinators based on their identified short-term, intermediate and long-term needs.
- Developing an e-learning module to support the professional development of SHE national coordinators and to strengthen the capacity of SHE national coordinators across all geographic areas in a sustainable and innovative way.
- Establishing a peer mentoring system for and among SHE national coordinators in EU member states to share learning, good practice and expertise.
- Facilitating and coordinating the SHE summer school with relevant academic institutions and with the support of the members of the SHE research group.
- Providing support and expertise to SHE national coordinators and other SHE stakeholders for creating synergies between various European programmes, which strengthen and support health promoting schools.
- Providing support and expertise to SHE national coordinators to further develop and strengthen national structures of health promoting schools.
- Providing ongoing technical support to the members of the SHE network via the SHE helpdesk and keeping the SHE website up-to-date.
- Writing the SHE communication plan
- Writing the financial and technical report SHE 2010
NIGZ is responsible for managing the SHE secretariat. In order to carry out the activities for SHE 2010 it is necessary to facilitate the attendance of all SHE national coordinators at the 3rd SHE Assembly on 22-23 February 2010 in Galway, Ireland. The interviews and questionnaires for needs assessment for training and capacity building will be organized in preparation of and during this meeting. Also a meeting for the SHE research group needs to be facilitated for its 8 core group members on their role in the review on health inequalities and school health promotion and in the SHE summer school.
During 2010 a range of ongoing capacity building activity will take place, including the SHE summer school and an e-learning training module. The first SHE summer school will be organized by NIGZ. One external experienced trainer will be subcontracted.
Participants from the EU member states for SHE meetings in 2010 will pay 40% own contribution for travel and subsistence costs.
SHE secretariat supports the transfer of knowledge through the SHE website, the 2 SHE electronic newsletters and the SHE helpdesk as a means of dialogue, communication and data collection.