A confluence of evidence: What lies behind a whole-school approach to health education in schools?
Reason for embargo
Purpose: To contribute to the evidence base to support whole school approaches. Methodology/approach: A review of published evaluations and evidence syntheses across six areas within the international health promoting schools literature. Findings: Although whole school approaches are often advocated for in literature and policy on health promoting schools, the evidence base on which claims concerning their effectiveness is grounded is partial, and is often health topic specific. Reviewing the evidence base across six different health-related areas, namely: sexual health; bullying; alcohol and drug use; mental health; school connectedness; and access to services, this paper identifies commonalities in learning, in turn, enabling a confluence of evidence on the factors central to the provision of effective health education and support within schools. Whilst findings endorse a whole school approach, they also suggest that some of the more subtle principles on which such approaches are underpinned are not explicitly reflected in practice. Originality/value: The paper offers the first cross-topic synthesis of findings on health education effects and effectiveness in six health-related areas, to identify commonalities in learning. Findings contribute to the evidence base for the use of a whole school approach when undertaking health education in schools.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Emerald via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 116 Iss: 2, pp.154 - 176