Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What is Healthy Schools London?
Healthy Schools London is a programme that supports London’s schools to provide an environment and culture that helps their pupils grow up to be healthy happy and learn.
With an award scheme sponsored by the Mayor of London, the programme will recognise and celebrate schools that are making a difference for their pupils.
The Healthy Schools London programme will support schools as they work towards these awards, with a network of local coordinators, and a range of resources, tools and advice provided through this website and regular workshops for schools.
Where is Healthy Schools London happening?
The Healthy Schools London programme is available to schools in all of London’s boroughs. We want to spread the programme as widely as possible across the City, and get as many London schools involved as possible.
Is Healthy Schools London open to all schools?
Yes. Any school in London is welcome to join the programme. This includes primary, secondary and middle schools; maintained schools, non-maintained, Academies, Free Schools and Independent schools.
How can schools apply for an Award?
The first step for a school in applying for an award, is to register with HSL via our website. This will enable the school to apply for an Award. The website resources section also features review tools, and a range of support to help them review their current practice, and to plan and deliver next steps.
There are three levels of Healthy Schools London award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The tiered structure of the award is designed to help schools to progressively build on their policies and practice over a period of time. In many cases, schools will automatically qualify for the Bronze award through the work they have done under the previous national programme, or through local programmes.
What does a school have to do to achieve a Bronze Award?
To achieve a Bronze award, a school will need to review its practice in promoting health & wellbeing. There are several ways in which the school can show it has done so (i.e. any one of the following is sufficient):
- School has current Local Healthy Schools Status (Evidence of their Review Tool must be uploaded as part of the application)
- School has completed a Local Healthy Schools Review or the Healthy Schools London Review Tool (Bronze Award) in the past two years and achieved minimum requirements.
In order to apply and receive the Bronze award, the school will need to register with Healthy Schools London through this website. The school can then either complete the Healthy Schools London Review Tool (Bronze Award), or provide details of the award they already hold that qualifies them for HSL Bronze.
What does a school have to do to achieve a Silver Award?
Firstly, the school should already hold a HSL Bronze award. The school should then use the Healthy Schools London Silver Award Planning Template available on this website to do the following:
- Undertake a needs analysis that identifies action that will help pupils to achieve and maintain good health and wellbeing. These actions should include one universal action (i.e. that will affect all the pupils in the school) and one targeted action (i.e. that is aimed at a particular group of pupils in the school).
- Develop an action plan for how they will deliver these actions, that makes clear the outcomes that they are aiming for, and includes milestones by which they will know they are making progress.
What does a school have to do to achieve a Gold Award?
Firstly, the school should already hold a HSL Silver award. The school should then use the Healthy Schools London (HSL) Gold Award Reporting Template on this website to show that they have done the following:
- That they have achieved the planned outcomes that they set as targets to gain the Silver award. They will need to have recorded and reported this impact.
- They have demonstrated evidence of the sustainability of these changes.
- They have engaged with the wider community, and have shared supported others to help children and young people to achieve and maintain good health and wellbeing.
What support is available for schools?
Healthy Schools London has a small team based at the GLA who are available to answer queries and provide telephone support to London Boroughs and to schools. Local Healthy Schools Leads provide support to schools where a Borough has a designated post. You can find contact details for your local coordinator under the contacts section.
The website and related communications materials (newsletter) will provide clear information about how to apply and what sorts of activities schools could undertake and how to monitor and evaluate them using currently collected data sources.
From time to time, we will also be offering training sessions and workshops for schools. Details of these will be advertised on the website.
How will HSL be validated?
Healthy Schools London will be a self validating Programme with schools submitting action plans with intended measurable outputs and outcomes as well as reports on activities undertaken. These action plans and reports will be submitted to the Healthy Schools London team who will share this information with Local Healthy Schools Leads and the Healthy Schools London Strategic Advisory Group.
How is Healthy Schools London different to the National Healthy Schools Programme?
Healthy Schools London has been designed in partnership with London boroughs and will operate alongside local Healthy Schools programmes. It supports local Boroughs in their work with schools and provides a framework for schools to address health and welbeing issues.
Where can schools get more information?
The first point of contact for schools will be the local Healthy Schools Lead, where this is place. You can use our contacts section to help you contact your local coordinator. If your school’s borough does not currently have a local Lead in place, please contact the HSL team at the GLA, who will be happy to help.
What are the benefits to schools of taking part in Healthy Schools London?
Taking part in Healthy Schools London, and working successfully for the tiered awards will enable the school to directly support the health and wellbeing of its pupils and staff.
An evaluation of the national programme on which HSL is based showed the following tangible outcomes:
- Increased amount of opportunities that children and young people have to be physically active in and out of schools
- Increased participation of children and young people in physical activity in and out of school
- Improved links between schools and communities that promote physical activity
- Increased school meal uptake including free school meals
- Improved children and young people’s access to healthy packed lunches and snacks throughout the school day.
The benefits go beyond health. Participating schools have also reported reduced incidence of bullying, improved behaviour and improved attendance. Headteachers have also said that they found the healthy schools programme helpful as a general school improvement tool.