Synergy between Health Promoting Schools and Kahui Ako

Synergy between Health Promoting Schools and Kahui Ako

New Zealand Health Promoting Schools (HPS) is a national health and wellbeing approach dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing and educational outcomes of children and their whānau. Funded by the Ministry of Health, HPS is free for schools. Since 2010 Cognition has been contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide the National Leadership and Co-ordination Service.  HPS is currently used by over 1,500 New Zealand schools, and its philosophy is based on the premise that students are more successful at school when their hāuora is being nurtured by not only their school, but their whānau and wider community. To date HPS schools have collectively seen a 60% increase in attendance, a 42% decrease in stand-downs/suspensions and a 29% increase in reading performance. 


There are tremendous synergies between HPS and Kāhui Ako. Both believe in the power of community and working together to ensure students are reaching their full potential. The HPS approach is simple, it is one that is self –determined, with participating schools/Kāhui Ako diagnosing their own needs. HPS facilitators then work with the school/Kāhui Ako to design, implement and measure actions/support specific to their needs. 



At the heart of the approach is the HPS rubric, a self -review tool which aligns to the six ERO indicators. A recent external evaluation of HPS shows the health and wellbeing for learning rubric is a powerful tool to show; 


• where a school/Kahui Ako is at

• where they need to go to next

• how they can get there

• how well they are tracking.


What are the benefits to engaging with HPS?


HPS is proven successful in driving significant improvements in student outcomes. Using the HPS approach and resources will;


• save schools and Kahui Ako time

• provide schools and Kahui Ako with a tool to scope health and wellbeing for learning in individual schools and average across Kahui Ako – demonstrating the range

• provide instant access to free health and wellbeing learning resources and services

• enable schools and Kahui Ako to monitor and evaluate progress. 


If you believe HPS would be perfect for your Kahui Ako, or you’d like to learn more about HPS, please contact: 


Therese Ireland Smith

Health Promoting Schools (HPS) National Leadership and Co-ordination Service

[email protected]