What is it about?
The World Health Organisation's Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986 sought to create a framework for health promotion action that conveyed the notion of capacity building as it related to specific settings. It provided the catalyst from which the health‐promoting school movement emerged, against the backdrop of health professionals adapting to the changing needs and demands of clients and the evolving social context of the communities in which they live. Since then, the international health‐promoting school movement has been one of the most successful of the settings‐based projects and has expanded considerably over recent years.
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Why is it important?
Traditionally, the school nursing movement has provided the backbone of nursing‐related health promotion activity in the school setting. The literature, however, is generally critical of its contribution over the years – especially as its role is mainly confined to a ‘conventional’ health education function and has little to do with health‐promoting school projects. There are more and more calls now for the school nursing service to either re‐evaluate its function and processes or be devolved back into a broader primary health care practitioner role. Nurses should view the health‐promoting school movement as another opportunity to embrace evolving broad‐based health promotion concepts truly, as a means to forge and own their own health agenda and also as a means to move beyond a traditional reliance on a limited health education role. Schools also need to adapt and expand their efforts to focus on health promotion activities, in collaboration with the ever‐widening community networks of health and social agencies. This requires the commitment of all healthcare professional groups. Nurses who practice in all settings, and not just school nurses, should be aiming to initiate and promote radical health promotion reform as set out in the health‐promoting school movement.
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This page is a summary of: The health-promoting school: what role for nursing?, Journal of Clinical Nursing, March 2006, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01294.x.
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