Working with schools to improve the health of school-aged children

While the health of older people gets lots of attention in the debate about the future of the NHS and the ageing population, there has been a host of warnings about the state of children’s health too.

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In her 2012 annual report, England’s chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies highlighted the “concerning” levels of obesity and mental health problems being seen among the young. In what effectively was a call to arms, she said the health of children needed to become more of a priority.

Similar warnings have been made year after year by the Children’s Society in its annual Good Childhood Report, particularly over emotional wellbeing. The charity’s reports have highlighted growing levels of unhappiness, depression and anxiety, which it says is leading to self-harm.

Children spend at least 11 years at school. They are, of course, formative years, laying the foundation for health and wellbeing in adult life. So we should see them as an incredible opportunity for public health. 

This report showcases the work being down by schools and local authorities across the country to improve the health of children.