Stay informed with the latest updates on coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out more >>

Health Promoting Schools

  • Background

    The Centre for Adolescent Health is a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Adolescent Health. We were engaged by WHO and UNESCO to review current policies and evidence, and to develop new global standards, indicators, and an implementation guidance for Health Promoting Schools (HPS) as part of their initiative "making every school as health promoting school.”

    This work 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, an internal advisory committee of experts that the CAH convened and an international consultation process. This led to several related projects in the area of whole-school approaches to health and wellbeing and the health and education interface. 

    Completed projects

    Ongoing projects

    • Development of Health-Promoting Schools Topic Briefs on Mental health, Nutrition, Water and sanitation, Physical activity, Substance use, and Sexual and reproductive health rights and gender (2021-23). This work is undertaken as part of our role as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Adolescent Health, reporting to WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF (Leads: Professor Susan Sawyer and Dr Monika Raniti, in collaboration with Dr Natalie Evans, Dr Dot Dumuid [Uni SA], Dr Wing Yuen [UNSW] and Dr Kajal Hirani).
    • A training program to build capacity in whole school approaches to promoting health and wellbeing (2023). Funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Emerging Priorities Program (Australia), and undertaken in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Education, (Leads: Dr Monika Raniti, Dr Ruth Aston, and Professor Susan Sawyer).
    • Implementing Health Promoting Institutions in Schools in Malaysia (2022-24). A collaboration with the Malaysian Government, funded by UNICEF Malaysia (Leads: Professor Susan Sawyer, Dr Monika Raniti, Dr Ani Wierenga, Dr Ruth Aston).

    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

    Communications specialist: Ms Molly O'Sullivan

    Research Assistants

    Dr Jennifer Dam

    Past Volunteers and Interns

    Ms Manon Duay
    Ms Catherine Waters

    Undergraduate and postgraduate students

    Aneta Bandilovska (Honours student)

    Dr Erin Hoare (Masters student)  

    Margaretha Margaretha (PhD student, University of Melbourne). A framework for mental health promotion in Indonesian schools (originally from Airlangga University, Indonesia)

    Dr Peijin Hu (postdoctoral studies). Evaluation of China’s school preventive health services (Peking University Institute of Child and Adolescent Health)

    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)
    • Handbury Family Trust, MCRI
    • Wellcome Trust

    Making every school a health-promoting school reports

    Making every school a health-promoting school – Global standards and indicators

    Spanish: Hacer que todas las escuelas sean promotoras de la salud. Pautas e indicadores mundiales

    Portuguese: Transformar cada escola em uma escola promotora de saúde: Padrões e indicadores globais

    Making every school a health-promoting school – Implementation Guidance

    Making every school a health-promoting school – Country case studies

    WHO guideline on school health services

    Key publications

    Sawyer, S. M., Raniti, M., & Aston, R. (2021). Making every school a health-promoting school. The Lancet. Child & adolescent health, S2352-4642(21)00190-5. Advance online publication.

    Raniti, M., Aston, R., Bennett, K., de Nicolás, 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.

    Aston, R., Raniti, M., Bennett, K., de Nicolás,  C., Fridgant, M., Cehun, E., Sawyer, S.M. (2020). Global Implementation Guidance for Health Promoting Schools. Melbourne: Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

    Margaretha, M., Azzopardi, P. S., Fisher, J., & Sawyer, S. M. (2023). School-based mental health promotion: A global policy reviewFrontiers in Psychiatry14, 1126767.

    Bennett, K., Raniti, M., de Nicolás, 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. (in press)

    Raniti, M., Fridgant, M., Ross, A., de Nicolás, 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. (in press)

    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
    • Sept 2020, Professional development session to Mental Health Practitioners in secondary schools for the Victorian Department of Education and Training
    • June 2021, Launch by WHO and UNESCO of Global Standards and Indicators of Health Promoting Schools and Systems
    • July 2021, Global Health Forum, Melbourne Children's Campus



    MJA Podcasts 2021 Episode 24: Health Promoting Schools, with Prof Susan Sawyer, Dr Monika Raniti and Dr Ruth Aston | Podcast

    Further information

    For further information, please contact Dr Monika Raniti.