Health‐related research and evaluation in school settings have grown in recent years as the needs to demonstrate accountability and effectiveness in health education and…
Health‐related research and evaluation in school settings have grown in recent years as the needs to demonstrate accountability and effectiveness in health education and promotion have increased. The evaluation of the Wessex Healthy Schools Award (WHSA) scheme and its effectiveness in secondary schools took place between 1995 and 1998. Outlines what was planned and describes what actually happened and how the research team responded to unforeseen changes in the study design and implementation. Lists several recommendations for health or education personnel contemplating, or about to start, school‐based health education and promotion, arising from the WHSA evaluation experience.
Examines some of the constraints on the effective evaluation of the health‐promoting school, particularly where a whole‐school approach is used, and outcomes are not behaviour‐specific. Considers the components of a successful school health intervention, and identifies some of the difficulties in achieving comprehensive evaluation. Explores the advantages of randomisation and controlled studies and identifies some limitations of these approaches, when the main aims are to examine process and non‐specific behavioural outcomes. Identifies some common errors that have been made in school‐based evaluations in the past and argues that the use of multiple methods of evaluation are necessary for a multi‐factorial whole‐school approach to teaching and learning about health. Discusses the recommendations for future evaluation by the WHO European Working Group on Health Promotion Evaluation.