Factsheet 2

School health promotion: evidence for effective action


Get updated on what we know works in the health promoting school approach. SHE network factsheet 2 provides an overview of the evidence for health promotion in schools. It is based on a report with more than 90 scientific references entitled, ‘School health promotion: an overview of the evidence for effective action’.

Key findings for School health promotion: evidence for effective action

Most of the evidence on the effectiveness of health education and health promotion in schools is from work on specific health topics. The most positive evidence is found in the topics of mental health promotion in schools, healthy eating, sports and physical activity in schools and the weakest evidence is in the area of substance use.


Successfully establishing health promoting schools within national educational systems takes time and requires the following:


  • political will;
  • partnership-working and mutual understanding
  • between the education and health sectors;
  • leadership and support from school managers;
  • building of ownership within the education system;
  • recognition of local/regional initiatives within the
  • national development programme;
  • teacher training.


The more connected young people feel to their school, the greater their emotional well-being and educational attainment. Schools play an important part in improving the education, health and well-being of all young people and in the task of reducing health inequalities in Europe and across the world.


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