Odense Statement: Our ABC for equity, education and health

The 4th European conference on health promoting schools held in Odense, Denmark, 7-9 October 2013, makes the following statement. The voices of young people from four countries working with the conference are included. The following is a summary of the ABC for equity, education and health.

A. Our principles, values, aims and objectives remain strong

Health promoting schools contribute to improving the health and well-being of the European population. School offers a most opportune setting from which to develop children and young people’s health-related competences and lifestyles.
We re-affirm the importance of demonstrating multiple benefits for all involved, particularly for those in education and related child and social sectors.

We therefore re-commit to extending and strengthening relevant research, tools, networks, processes and skills to enable further development and implementation of health promoting schools between 2014 and 2020.

B. Health promoting schools offer benefits

Health promoting schools offer:

Concrete and well-evaluated examples of effective links between education and health that support “health in all policies” in the European Region;
Opportunities to make the healthy choice the easy choice for schools, students and staff;
A positive and broad view of health that includes physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well- being;

An integrated, whole-school approach to relevant health topics, including: Bullying and violence reduction
Mental health promotion in schools
Sexual health, sexual rights and responsibility

Healthy eating, sports and physical activity in schools Problem solving and conflict resolution health literacy.

C. To make further progress, we seek

Further progress in the health promoting schools movement will to a large extent be determined by our ability to communicate effectively with key stakeholders and the wider public through a range of outlets, including social media. Efforts will therefore be made to present clear messages on the advantages of being a health promoting school and to make alliances with relevant advocacy movements, such as the tobacco control lobby.

We request specific actions (see full document) from key players to enable us to develop the benefits of the health promoting school approach. Key players include schools, decision makers/policy makers, research and evaluation organizations, etc.

Full publication (pdf files):

Odense Statement (English)

Odense Statement (Estonian)

Odense Statement (Italian)

Odense Statement (Japanese)

Odense Statement (Lithuanian)

Odense Statement (Russian)

Odense Statement (Slovenian)