Welcome to the 5th European Conference on Health Promoting Schools – Health, Wellbeing and Education: Building a sustainable future

Dear participants,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the 5th European Conference on Health Promoting Schools (HPS).

Based on the Ottawa Charta for health promotion, the idea of health promoting schools (HPS) emerged in the late 80s as an open concept rooted in a positive and a holistic understanding of health that requires action on an individual and environmental level by involving all people inside and outside the school.  

The first European conference on Health Promoting Schools was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1997 outlining the main principles for health promotion in schools. The resolution from this conference states that every child and young person in Europe has the right to be educated in a health promoting school, urging governments in all European countries to adopt the ‘Health Promoting School approach’ (find the conference resolution here).

The 2nd HPS conference was held in Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands in 2002. The result of this conference was ‘The Egmont Agenda: A new tool to help establish and develop health promotion in schools and related sectors across Europe’ which highlighted conditions, programming and evaluation as essential to develop and sustain health promoting schools (find The Egmont Agenda here).

Seven years later, the 3rd HPS conference was held in Vilnius, Lithuania, aiming to make a next step in school health promotion in Europe by common actions across sectors and across borders. During this conference young people played an active role in sharing their ideas and working together on making their school a better place to learn and to work. The Vilnius Resolution ‘Better Schools through Health’ outlined the SHE core values and SHE pillars and emphasized that education and health have shared interests and complement each other (find The Vilnius Resolution here).

School health promotion can support the core business of schools by promoting not only the health of young people as well as teaching and non-teaching staff, but also by contributing to the educational success of pupils and schools. The last European conference on health promoting schools took place in Odense, Denmark, in 2013. The conference resulted in ‘The Odense Statement: Our ABC for Equity, Education and Health’ with the voices of young people from four European countries included (find The Odense Statement here).

During that conference the core values and pillars of school health promotion were recognized as a strong contribution to the aims and objectives of the WHO policy framework for health and well-being in Europe, Health 2020, and the EU2020 strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth. Moreover, an effective communication strategy with key stakeholders and the wider public was called for to provide clear messages on the advantages of being a health promoting school and to make alliances with relevant advocacy movements.

Since its very beginning, the health promoting school has become one of the most prominent settings of health promotion with now over 30 years of rich experiences and evidence of good practice. Next to local and national networks all over Europe and beyond the Schools for Health in Europe Network Foundation (SHE) has developed into one of the most sustainable networks now including 31 countries from Europe and Central Asia and is still expanding. In accordance with the SHE vision, that the health promoting school approach becomes an acknowledged and implemented concept in the European Region, the 5th European Conference on Health Promoting Schools welcome practitioners, researchers and policy makers to share experiences and to get inspired by good practice and current research with the aim to build a sustainable future for our children and young people.

Get more information and find the registration form at the conferece website.

We look forward to see you in Moscow,

Anette Schulz (SHE Manager)
Marjorita Sormunen  Chair of the SHE Research Group)
Kevin Dadaczynski (Chair of the Conference Scientific Committee)
Vladislav Kuchma (Vice director of the National Medical Research Center of Children’s Health, Russia)

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