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Reducing the barriers to the expansion of health‐promoting schools by focusing on teachers

Lawrence St Leger (Lawrence St Leger is Dean of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at Deakin University, in Australia. He has been involved in school health for more than 25 years as a government policy adviser, project manager, researcher and consultant. He played a major role in developing guidelines for health‐promoting schools for the World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region, and has assisted WHO with the design and implementation of health‐promoting schools in developing countries such as Cambodia and Mongolia. Professor St Leger has chaired a number of government advisory groups which focus on child and adolescent health issues and has published articles in Europe, North America and Australia.)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



The health‐promoting school concept is a very promising framework which provides a comprehensive strategic approach to school health. Evidence suggests it is cost‐effective and will enhance the achievement of both educational and health goals. However, many barriers exist currently which are inhibiting its widespread adoption. Such barriers are related to resources; political issues; environmental contexts; administrative support; trained and skilled teachers; lack of understanding of the value of school health and the concept of the health‐promoting school. Teachers are fundamental to the success of developing a health‐promoting school. Evidence shows that there are priorities which need to be addressed in this area before schools can develop comprehensive and effective school health initiatives. Key among these are increased collegiality between teachers; ongoing and focused professional development; and embracing and implementing change within schools.



St Leger, L. (2000), "Reducing the barriers to the expansion of health‐promoting schools by focusing on teachers", Health Education, Vol. 100 No. 2, pp. 81-87.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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