Healthy School Communities - Concept Paper

Healthy School Communities - Concept PaperThe importance of health has always been widely acknowledged. In a new concept paper commissioned by PHE Canada, and written by The Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, the link between overall health and the increased capacity to learn is established. The paper brings together policy, practice and research perspectives, with the intention of promoting a shared common goal: for schools to become more health promoting. The paper addresses the frameworks for Healthy School Communities, core components of Healthy School Communities, strategies for success, fundamental principles, and possible challenges faced.

Many schools are currently employing their own health initiatives, but due to the differing terminologies used, some schools are not even aware that they are in the process of becoming Health Promoting Schools and that they are contributing to a Healthy School Communities. Healthy School Communities refers not only to the health initiatives put into motion during school hours, but also how the broader community accepts joint responsibility for the overall health of students, staff, and family members who are part of a school.

The primary purpose of the concept paper is to establish an open dialogue in relation to a clearer understanding of what makes a school or community health promoting, with a focus on collaborative action taken by policy, practice and research perspectives, respectively.

Furthermore, the concept paper addresses the various terminologies used and highlights the overlap between the Health Promoting Schools approach and the Comprehensive School Health approach. By using the Health Promoting Schools framework, the 4Es, PHE Canada has endeavoured to attain their vision of “all children and youth in Canada living healthy, physically active lives”. 

The 4Es framework refers to the components that make up a Health Promoting School: Education – Supporting a culture of learning, and learning opportunities, Environment – Nurturing a safe social and physical environment, Everyone – inclusiveness and collaboration, and Evidence – determining the effectiveness of actions taken to support healthy lifestyles.


Click here to download the concept paper

Click here to download a brochure for the concept paper