The Essex Healthy Schools Programme is a school health improvement strategy which builds on the commitment within Essex schools to better the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
We provide a strategic framework for schools to reflect on the relationship between health and achievement. This maximises the potential for development and innovation at a local level to improve health and wellbeing.
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Transformation of Healthy Schools Programme September 2021
We are proud that most of our schools have been engaged with the Essex Healthy Schools Programme and we know that all schools are clear about their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their children. Our vision now is to create a new social norm for Essex in which it is accepted that all ESSEX SCHOOLS ARE HEALTHY!
We have updated the programme by removing the need for a foundation and enhanced award scheme and have decided to move away from the bureaucratic self-assessment, quality assurance and moderation process. The new approach is based on an individualised multi-disciplinary pathway and development plan. The model will include awards that celebrate best practice in specific areas of public health.
Healthy Schools Expectation Document
We have produced a document, with links to helpful guidance and resources, to help schools ensure that they are achieving the expectations. Each school will continue to have an allocated Healthy Schools Engagement Worker (HSEW) to offer support and advice to schools who feel they are not achieving the expectations. The expectations will be publicly accessible to facilitate greater understanding of what it means to be a healthy school. We hope that pupils, parents and partner agencies and services will continue to share good practice and raise concerns if they need to.
Healthy Schools Profiling Visits
The Healthy Schools Engagement Workers will contact schools to arrange a date for their annual Healthy Schools Profiling Visit where they will provide them with the opportunity to discuss the requirements along with any health and wellbeing concerns the school has; the visit will also provide an opportunity for them to share good practice. Visits will be organised in clusters (secondary and feeder primaries) within the localities in half termly blocks. An annual ‘Healthy Schools Report’ will be provided to each school with a programme of support to help address concerns.
Healthy Schools Best Practice Projects
Schools will be actively supported in the planning and delivery of needs led, outcome-based health and wellbeing projects. Schools will nominate themselves for a ‘Healthy Schools Best Practice Award’, from a specific category in the Healthy Schools Expectation Document. At the end of the project, they will complete a short Healthy Schools Best Practice Project Document explaining the aims of the project and the actions they put in place to achieve those outcomes; they will then nominate themselves for a Healthy Schools Best Practise Award and will be invited to attend the annual Healthy Schools Awards and Celebration Event.
Healthy Schools Annual Awards Ceremony
We will continue to hold our annual awards ceremony to celebrate all the amazing work Essex schools are doing! Details for the 2021/2022 event are to follow shortly.
Enhanced status, action plans and benchmarking documents
If a school has recently submitted a benchmarking document or is working on an action plan (previous model) they should continue to do this. A Healthy Schools Engagement Worker will continue to support schools through this process; schools will be presented with Foundation Status or Enhanced Status at the annual awards event. Any future work will then be done using the new model.