Schools are a vital resource for influencing the health and wellbeing of students and also that of families and the wider community. The health promoting schools (HPS) initiative and other whole-school approaches to health in education now span over multiple decades, with increasing understanding worldwide that health and education are foundational resources for children and adolescents and that schools are an important setting for health as well as education. As part of a WHO and UNESCO’s initiative, these Global Standards and indicators provide direction for schools and governments around the implementation and sustainability of whole school approaches to health in education. The 8 Global Standards for HPS systems highlight that successful implementation requires a multi-level system of governance and a whole school approach of mutually reinforcing actions across all facets of a school’s operations. Intentionally aspirational, the HPS system is flexible and dynamic, and intended to function as a scaffold that enables implementation of multiple whole-school initiatives and different individual programs through a process of progressive realisation. The Global Standards and indicators are supported by a detailed Implementation Guidance around scoping, designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating HPS activities.
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