School and Community Based Programs
The WA Healthy Schools Project aims to increase participation rates in physical activity and increase the consumption of healthy food and drinks by school children.
The project is directed at primary school students, with a focus on schools with populations at risk of poor health outcomes which includes schools with a high number of culturally and linguistically diverse or Indigenous students as well as those that are in low socio-economic areas. The project also targets parents and families; health and education staff; community groups; and government and non-government organisations.
Healthy School Coordinators work with schools in metropolitan and regional areas, utilising the Health Promoting Schools Framework (PDF) to:
- Incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into school policies and plans
- Facilitate community and school based initiatives
- Establish and strengthen existing partnerships
- Support the development of healthy school environments
Key findings from the 2008 – 2010 project evaluation:
- 91 schools participated in the project.
- The most successful activities were those related to kitchen gardens, sports carnivals, expos and fruit and vegetable tastings.
- Approximately two-thirds of participating schools had developed or were in the process of developing a healthy eating and physical activity policy.
- Over two-thirds of school principals (70%) and key stakeholders (72%) surveyed at the end of the evaluation said that their expectations of the project had been met.
- Principals rated the Healthy School Coordinator’s time as the most important resource available to them through the project, followed by financial assistance.
WA Health Networks has provided funding for WA Country Health Service and Child and Adolescent Community Health to continue implementation of the project during 2010 and 2011.
To access case studies and project reports, visit the WA Country Health Service WA Healthy School Project website