New Zealand first in the world to prove student’s wellbeing affects achievement in school

New Zealand first in the world to prove student's wellbeing affects achievement in school


Health Promoting Schools, a health and wellbeing approach funded by the Ministry of Health and national leadership provided by Cognition Education, delivers parental engagement and student well-being.


- In HPS schools, 60% of attendance improvements are explained by involvement in HPS
- 42% of decrease in student stand-downs and suspensions explained to involvement in HPS
- Students reading performance in HPS schools was 29% higher on average than in non-HPS schools.


New Zealand Health Promoting Schools (HPS), a national health and wellbeing approach used by 1,565 schools, has proven its effectiveness in improving school attendance and lifting student achievement in reading, according to a new study commissioned by the HPS National Leadership and Co-ordination Service (Cognition Education) for the Ministry of Health. 
Rather than provide a ‘one size fits all’ programme, HPS in New Zealand guides schools to collaborate with students, parents, whānau, and the wider community to develop their own ideas and activities to improve the well-being of children and adults.

The HPS National Leadership and Co-ordination Service (NLCS) together with the HPS workforce (facilitators in District Health Boards) and school leaders developed this unique New Zealand HPS approach.
The New Zealand HPS approach was guided by St Leger’s (1999) observation that “the health sector had largely ignored the vast literature on school organisation and improvement, teaching and learning practices, professional development, and innovation and dissemination...schools are complex places and the way forward in school health requires more sophisticated theoretical models which are based on both health and educational frameworks” (pg. 65).
The study found that HPS makes a significant contribution to achieving improvements in schools – in particular increases in attendance and reading achievement, and reductions in stand downs and suspensions. No other HPS service globally has been able to prove that the HPS approach drives significantly better education outcomes.
Many schools from tiny rural district schools in the Far North or Southland to multi-cultural city schools in West Auckland and Titahi Bay, Wellington, have worked with HPS facilitators to review their school systems and processes from a whole of school approach, linking education priorities with health and well-being needs. Following the review, schools work with students, parents, whānau and others to develop and implement new actions that are aligned to the school’s and teachers’ goals.
As the Ministry of Health contracted provider of the National Leadership and Co-ordination Service for HPS, Cognition Education is thrilled with the positive outcomes that are explained by involvement in HPS and the importance of developing educationally powerful relationships with parents/caregivers.
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