The Healthy Schools London programme
The Healthy Schools London awards programme is a well-evidenced 'whole-school approach' that enables schools to achieve an environment, ethos and culture that helps to promote pupils' and staff health and wellbeing.
The programme is sponsored by the Mayor of London and the London borough of Richmond.
Whole-school approaches to health and wellbeing
The 2020 Annual Public Health Report provided a rationale for reintroducing the Healthy Schools London programme to Richmond schools.
The report outlines that health education on its own does not deliver positive outcomes but requires the involvement of parents and carers, families and the wider community together with a range of teaching methods and health promoting interventions. Better health results in better educational attainment which in-turn leads to health improvements across the life course.
How the awards work
There are three levels of awards: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The tiered structure of the award is designed to help schools to progressively build on their policies and practice over a period of time.
The Bronze Award is a review of current policies and practices, ensuring basic ‘Healthy Schools’ standards are in place. Schools are asked to complete the Healthy Schools London (HSL) Bronze Review Tool and are required to repeat the process every three years to maintain their healthy school status.
To apply for a Silver Award, schools need a valid Bronze Award. Silver Award requires schools to conduct a needs analysis to identify unique health issues or a priority. Based on the identified priority (e.g., healthy eating, oral health, mental health and wellbeing), schools will assess pupils’ needs, collect baseline data and design an action plan.
The plan should include actions that would be carried throughout a minimum of two terms. The plan should include one universal (whole school) and a targeted audience (e.g. children with SEN, Year 5 girls, Reception). To apply, use the Healthy Schools London (HSL) Silver Award Planning Template.
Schools that have achieved a Silver Award can apply for the Gold Award. To achieve the award, schools will report on the interventions carried out for the Silver Award and evaluate their impact on the targeted audience and wider community, including what worked well and the challenges.
To apply use the Gold Award Reporting Template.
The programme incorporates target areas for improving health throughout curriculum, ethos and culture in the following domains:
- Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)
- Relationships and sex education (RSE)
- Drug, alcohol and tobacco education
- Emotional wellbeing and mental health
- Healthy eating and oral health and
- Physical activity
Schools can draw attention to their engagement in the programme during the Ofsted inspection.
Ofsted inspectors may wish to consider the scheme as evidence when reaching judgment on ‘personal development’ as outlined in the 2019 education inspection framework.
How schools can get involved
If your school is interested in getting involved and you would like to find out more information, please contact your borough lead for support and advice.
Your borough lead will support schools to achieve awards at termly training sessions for Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. Sessions are available online or in one-to-one meetings. There is no cost to schools and all support and resources, such as policy templates, are free.
We also commission a variety of training for teachers and school staff which is complementary to the awards programme. Training on offer varies throughout the year and supports RSE, PSHE, food and nutrition curriculum delivery and mental health and wellbeing.
Up to: Healthy schools
Updated: 09 February 2023