Public health in education settings

Community and Public Health aims to assist primary, secondary and tertiary education settings to develop healthy learning environments where children learn better. We focus on reducing inequities in health and education outcomes.

Staff work in depth with education settings and providers to ensure that their environments support healthy behaviour and maximise each child’s learning potential. A whole-setting approach is used and possible focus areas could include healthy eating, hauora/wellbeing, physical activity, community connectedness and smokefree.

South Island Tertiary Health and Wellbeing Survey Report released

Health promotion in higher education is receiving greater attention with the recent development of the Okanagan Charter, an international health promotion charter for universities and colleges. The Health Promotion Agency (HPA) funded a survey of health and wellbeing initiatives in tertiary institutions across the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand in 2016, based on the Okanagan Charter.

This report provides a snapshot of health and wellbeing initiatives currently operational within the seven higher education institutions surveyed and aims to share examples of good practice and suggestions for further alignment with the Okanagan Charter.

This document was written by Dr Anna Thorpe (Community and Public Health) and health promotion consultant Carmen Collie.

Health Promoting Schools

The purpose of Health Promoting Schools (HPS) is to enhance whānau wellbeing through evidence-informed practice, with a focus on reducing inequities in health and educational outcomes.

Health Promoting Schools’ advisors assist schools to create a shared vision for the future which will enhance learning, health and hauora/wellbeing for all students. The HPS process brings together the Board of Trustees, Principal, Staff, students, parents/caregivers, whānau, community and local organisations to achieve this vision.

Staff also work to improve the health and wellbeing of the local Māori community through strengthening the Māori focus in health promoting schools. This includes working collaboratively with health promoting school providers, the health education and social welfare sectors, whānau and iwi Māori.

Having smokefree schools and other education settings

I Love My Smokefree Childhood. Smokefree support is available to education providers including early childhood centres, Te Kōhanga Reo, schools, universities and polytechnics. This support ranges from advice about legislative requirements through to implementation of policy and practices in a particular setting.

The overall goals of this smokefree work are to :

Wellbeing and Vitality in Education in South Canterbury

Wellbeing and Vitality in Education (WAVE) is a partnership between education settings and heath organisations in South Canterbury. WAVE aims to improve health and learning outcomes for children and young people.

WAVE (Well-being and Viatality in Education)The staff based in Timaru support, co-ordinate and enhance health promotion activities within education settings, from early childhood through to tertiary providers.

WAVE builds on the strengths of the Health Promoting Schools framework and incorporates the “Whole of Setting” approach.

The aims of WAVE are to:

  • support young people and their families in developing healthy behaviours;
  • support the development of sustainable approaches to promote the health and wellbeing of staff and students;
  • help raise student achievement in education;
  • work collaboratively with key partners and community groups to meet the needs of the setting;
  • reduce health inequalities; and
  • support Māori cultural values and practices for improved outcomes for tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


Contact your local office for more information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

Ph: +64 3 307 6902
Fax: +64 3 307 6904

Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169

Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

Remember the Two Week Pool Rule

Personal hygiene like hand washing and showering is important to remember at swimming pools, and especially if your students have had been sick.

Anyone who has had diarrhoea should not use the pool or be involved in water activities for at least two weeks after they have recovered.

Parents should also know about the two week rule.

Remember the Two Week Pool Rule (SAF0032).
Page last updated: 23/04/2018

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