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Essex Healthy Schools Programme

Page last updated: 26/10/2023

​Healthy Schools Transformation

Essex Healthy Schools is a school health improvement strategy to better the health and wellbeing of children and young people. 

In September 2021 the new Essex Healthy Schools programme was launched. This approach allows schools to focus on the specific needs of their school community around 6 key expectations: trauma informed and trauma reducing practice, PSHE education, mental health and emotional wellbeing, physical activity, food and nutrition, and pupil voice. An annual awards ceremony is held to celebrate schools' achievements and showcase areas of best practice.

Each school has an allocated Healthy Schools Engagement Worker who will be on hand to offer support and advice. They will also undertake an annual Healthy Schools Profile Visit where schools will have the opportunity to share good practice and discuss any health and wellbeing concerns. Schools will be sent a completed Healthy Schools Profile document which will include a Healthy Schools offer of support if required. 

Further details of the Healthy Schools Programme can be found by on the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service website.​


Upcoming Training

Recent Updates

  • ​Essex Age-Friendly Collaborative Toolkit ​(October 2023)​ – School programme to create a dementia friendly generation

  • Essex Local Area Health Scorecards (October 2023) - shows the latest summary snapshot of health in an area. The scorecard can be used to quickly understand the health of an area which, combined with local knowledge, will help to tailor the support school needs from the Healthy Schools Programme

  • HPV Vaccination Programme - The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced changes to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programme. From September 2023, the routine adolescent HPV immunisation programme for all children in school year 8 (aged 12 to 13 years) will move from two doses to one dose, offered mainly in secondary schools. This includes children not in mainstream school via a community clinic delivery model. More information can be found on the Gov.uk website. 

  • Relationships, Health and Sex Education (RSHE Curriculum Support and Contact Information for Essex Schools​ -  (February 2023) - Details of local commissioned providers and national support organisations​

  • Essex RSE survey for 11–25-year-olds findings (November 2022) – Survey lead by Essex Youth Service and Essex Public Health to gather the views of young people on a range of topics relating to relationships and sexual health, understanding what further information and support they would like and their preferred ways in which to access it - Young people's relationships & sex education survey 2022 ​​

  • ​Essex Sexual Health Services enhance partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust to better reach young adults (September 2022) - The providers of sexual health services across Essex have ceased their relationship with Brook to begin an improved programme with the UK's leading sexual health charity to support young people. Terence Higgins Trust will deliver co-produced sexual health education in secondary schools and other youth venues, structured counselling for vulnerable young adults, useful documents and training to a broader range of health and social care professionals. For further information please contact Essex@tht.org.uk or provide.essexsexualhealthservice@nhs.net  
  • ​Terrence Higgins Trust 1:1 Early Intervention and Education Support Programme for Young People in Essex (November 2022) - support for young people aged 13-24 with vulnerabilities, or who may be at risk from sexual ill health or harm - Terrence Higgins Trust Young Person Referral Form, or email essexyoungpeople@tht.org.uk

  • Free National School Breakfast Programme (June 2022) - Support schools in England to provide children with a healthy breakfast at the start of the school day

  • Teaching about relationships, sex and health(March 2021) - Support and training materials for schools to help train teachers on relationships, sex and health education 

Healthy Schools Expectations

Below is a list of resources to help schools meet the Healthy School Expectations:

Trauma Informed and Trauma Reducing Practice

PSHE Education

  • ​Online Safety Resources from the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB). Visit the ESCB website for resources for parents, carers and professionals including podcasts, videos, how to report concerns and information about spotting the signs of exploitation.​

  • Risk Avert - an award winning PSHE training and support programme. Empowering young people to make better choices. Risk Avert programmes are available free of charge to Essex schools. 

  • Essex Sexual Health Services - a free and confidential service available to people of all ages across Essex.

  • eC-C ard  - a scheme which provides young people aged 16-24 with access to free condoms. Available from a range of venues across Essex.

  • PSHE Association  - a national organisation providing free and paid for guidance, training, teaching resources and advice to teachers and PSHE leads.

  • Making your RSHE the best it can be – paid for webinars and resources for schools provided by the Sex Education Forum.

  • NSPCC offer relationship and sex education resources for schools.

  • Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child's school - a parent's guide to understanding RSE in schools.

  • Ofsted Survey Report - evaluating strengths and weaknesses of PSHE education in England.

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

  • Mental Health UK have developed a range of free training for secondary school teaching staff. The training is based on their young people's programme Bloom, which supports the mental health and resilience of 14- to 18-year-olds.
  • Government Mental wellbeing resources for schools.
  • Anna Freud provide resources, training, information and advice for schools and further education settings on Mental Health topics.

Physical Activity

  • Active Essex- support and guidance to help enable schools to deliver and effective Physical Education and Schools Sports offer. 

  • Government Being active resources for schools.

Food and Nutrition

Pupil Voice

Additional Support for Schools

  • Is my child too ill for school? - NHS guide for parents.

  • Ofsted - the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. Responsible for inspecting and regulating services which care for children and young people. Also, those providing education and skills for learners of all ages. ​