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Healthy Schools

Healthy Schools Scheme
Cynllun Ysgolion Iach

Health promoting schools are developing throughout Europe. The European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS) (now called Schools for Health in Europe) was formally inaugurated in 1992 as part of a collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission (EC) and the Council of Europe (CoE). It was set up to establish a group of model schools in each country that would demonstrate the impact of health promotion on the school setting and then disseminate their experience.

The Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes (WNHSS) was launched in 1999 to encourage the development of local healthy school schemes within a national framework.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the WNHSS as playing a key role in promoting the health of children and young people, and the scheme has been rolled out across Wales since 2000. 

Within the scheme, there are seven different health topics that schools need to address. These include:

  • Food and Fitness

  • Mental and Emotional Health and Well Being

  • Personal Development and Relationships

  • Substance Use and Misuse

  • Environment

  • Safety

  • Hygiene


What is a health promoting school?

‚ÄčA health promoting school has been defined by the WNHSS as one which actively promotes and protects the physical, mental and social well-being of its community through positive action by such means as policy, strategic planning and staff development with regard to its curriculum, ethos, physical environment and community relations.

However you may find some of the following definitions informative too.


    A health promoting school is ...

  • a happy school.
    A health promoting school is ...

  • a caring community which is concerned with the health of all its members, pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff and all those who interact with it.

    A health promoting school ...

  • encourages pupils to recognise that what they do counts – that we all affect one anothers lives

    A health promoting school ...

  • recognises that health education is not just taught in the classroom, but is supported and re-inforced in the daily life of the school and local community

    A health promoting school ...

  • provides all the information pupils require about nutrition, exercise, relationships, sex, smoking, drugs and alcohol and encourages them to take responsibility for their own actions.


Healthy City Healthy Capital Website
Gwefan Dinas Iach Prifddinas Iach


Designed to Smile is a national Oral Health Improvement programme to improve the dental health of children in Wales. It is funded by the Welsh Government and was initially launched on the 30th January 2009 in both North and South Wales as a three year pilot.


Due to the successful implementation of this programme to date, Edwina Hart, Minister for Health and Social Services announced in October 2009 that the programme would be enhanced and expanded to cover the whole of Wales

Designed to Smile Programme has two elements:

A preventative programme for Nursery/Primary school children:
This involves the delivery of School/Nursery based tooth brushing and fluoride varnish programmes for children aged 3-5 helping establish good habits early on. Also children aged 6-11 will receive a Fissure Sealant programme as well as preventative advice on how to look after their oral health.

A preventative programme for children from birth to 3 years:
Initially pilots are being established working with Health Visitors and a wide range of professionals who work with young children. The aim is to give good consistent advice to parents, to provide toothbrushes and paste and encourage going to the dentist.


“The dental health of children in Wales is amongst the worst in the United Kingdom. Daily tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste is an effective means of helping to prevent tooth decay however, for many children cleaning their teeth or having their teeth cleaned does not form part of their daily routine.

The Welsh Government is determined to tackle oral health inequalities and Designed to Smile aims to reduce the gap between the most deprived and least deprived families in Wales. It provides children with the tools they need to develop and maintain good oral health from an early age and I would encourage all schools and nurseries in the targeted areas to get involved".

David Thomas,
Chief Dental Officer for Wales



Click HERE for further information about the
Designed to Smile scheme.