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Health Promoting Schools

  • Background

    The Centre for Adolescent Health is a World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centre for Adolescent Health. Our current suite of projects largely sit within a WHO and UNESCO new initiative of “Making every School a Health Promoting School”, a United Nations collaboration that includes UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS and UNRWA. We have been engaged to review current policies and evidence, and to develop new global standards and an implementation guidance for HPS. This work has involved a series of discrete yet related projects. It has been informed by several rounds of peer review by WHO, UNESCO and other UN organizations, and an international advisory panel.


    • Policy Review – A review of current practices and policies for HPS and similar initiatives in low, middle, and high income countries (complete)
    • Evidence Review – A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on barriers and enabler to implementation of HSP and similar initiatives (complete)
    • A series of 8 country Case Studies on HPS implementation in LMICs – Bhutan, Indonesia, Paraguay, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine (ongoing)
    • Development of new Global Standards and Indicators for HPS (ongoing)
    • Development of an Implementation Guidance for HPS (ongoing)
    • A related project, funded through a University of Melbourne India School Education Engagement grant (2020), is a case study of implementation of school-based health program in Bihar, India (ongoing)

    Our Team

    The team is comprised of researchers and practitioners who have a broad interest and expertise in the intersection between health and education (e.g., school health services, health promoting schools, school-based health interventions).

    Lead: Professor Susan Sawyer 
    Postdoctoral Researcher: Dr Monika Raniti
    Public Health and Health Promotion specialist: Ms Kristina Bennett 
    Education and Evaluation specialist: Dr Ruth Aston (Centre for Program Evaluation, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne) 
    Consultant: Ms Cristina de Nicolás Izquierdo

    Research Assistants:

    Ms Ella Cehun 
    Ms Monika Fridgant
    Ms Anna Ross
    Ms Catherine Waters

    Past Volunteers and Interns: 

    Ms Manon Duay
    Ms Catherine Waters

    Linked research projects: 

    Doctoral Student: Dr Margaretha Margaretha, Use of curriculum in Indonesian schools to advance mental health, (Airlangga University, Indonesia)
    Post-doctoral Student: Dr Peijin Hu, Evaluation of China’s school preventive health services (Peking University Institute of Child and Adolescent Health)

    The HPS team currently has capacity for students.

    Internal Advisory Group: Ms Israt Jahan Baki, Dr Helen Butler, Ms Andrea Krelle, Dr Lisa Mundy, Professor George Patton, A/Prof Nicola Reavley, Dr Jenny Proimos, Dr Anitra Wierenga, Dr Sachin Shinde, and Dr Jon Quach


    • WHO
    • UNESCO
    • University of Melbourne
    • Harvard University and Sangath, India (Dr Sachin Shinde and Professor Vikram Patel)


    • WHO
    • The University of Melbourne (India School Education Engagement grant)
    • CAH (MCRI)

    Key Publications

    Bennett, K., Raniti, M., de Nicolas, C., Cehun, E., Waters, C., Fridgant, M., Sawyer, S.M. (2020). A global review of policy, standards and guideline documentation for Health Promoting Schools. Melbourne: Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

    Raniti, M., Fridgant, M., Ross, A., de Nicolas, C., Bennett, K., Cehun, E., Reavley, N., Sawyer, S.M. (2020). A systematic review of the enablers and barriers of Health Promoting Schools. Melbourne: Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

    Raniti, M., Aston, R., Bennett, K., de Nicolas, C., Fridgant, M., Cehun, E., Sawyer, S.M. (2020). Global Standards and Indicators for Health Promoting Schools. Melbourne: Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (Under review).

    Key Presentations

    • March 2020, Global consultation of HPS evidence reviews with WHO and UNESCO external advisory group  
    • July 2020, India School Engagement Grant workshop, University of Melbourne

    Further information

    For further information, please contact Kristina Bennett.