National Network of Health Promoting Schools – Lithuania
A ‘health promoting school’ is defined as ‘a school that implements a structured and systematic plan for the health and well-being of all pupils and of teaching and non-teaching staff. This is characterized as a whole school approach (or ‘whole of school approach’). The health promoting school is a health promotion program for children organized through formal and non-formal education. In Lithuania schools prepare, implement and self-evaluate 5-years duration programs. Requirements and criteria for programs are approved by the Health Promoting School Recognition committee (7 specialists from health and education fields). There are Health Promoting Schools in almost every municipality and every year a growing number of the country’s educational institutions join the network. Already there are 244 general education schools, 4 vocational training centres, 104 pre-school education institutions and 1 university in the National Network of Health Promoting Schools. The Lithuanian health promoting school network belongs to the Schools for Health in Europe network (SHE network). In these schools, health topics have been integrated into the educational process – lessons and after-school activities. Health promoting schools conducts a long-term targeted and approved health promotion programs in various health areas: physical activity and physical education; healthy diet; tobacco, alcohol and other psychoactive substance abuse prevention; accidents, injuries, stress prevention; violence, bullying prevention; family and sexuality education; communicable diseases; the culture of consumption. Networking at a European level has stimulated the development of indicators for health promoting schools. Also, three European conferences were organised by the network, attracting a wide audience of researchers, policy makes, practitioners and schools. The most recent adopted the Vilnius (Lithuania) Resolution, which is a new tool for governments and schools to introduce school health promotion, intended to help put health promoting schools higher on the international and national educational and public health agendas. The Vilnius (Lithuania) Resolution was presented, discussed and adopted during the 3rd European Conference. It marked the main outcomes of the conference as a next step in the development of school health promotion in Europe. For the first time, the work of students during a European conference was included, demonstrating their active involvement and participation, which are part of the underlying principles of the health promoting school approach.
(last accessed in March 2017)