Parliamentary inquiry into health promoting schools in Victoria: analysis of stakeholder views

Emma Bruce, Ruth Klein, Helen Marie Keleher

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    Background: In 2009, the Victorian Parliament Legislative Assembly of Australia commissioned a Parliamentary Inquiry into the opportunities for schools to become a focus for promoting healthy community living. Submissions to the Inquiry varied widely in their positions about school health promotion. The aim of this review is to analyze the submissions to identify core themes in the debates about school health promotion and how stakeholders saw schools becoming a focus for promoting healthy communities. Methods: Submissions (N = 159) were downloaded from the Inquiry website. Open coding was used to code the data. The codes were then refined into conceptual categories to create themes. The Inquiry s terms of reference were used as an organizing framework. Results: Emergent themes included barriers and enablers to school health promotion including the need for stronger leadership from the Departments of Health (DoH) and Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). Conclusion: Rather than supporting the idea that schools could have a wider role in communities, submissions pointed to the acute need for increased resource allocation to support health promotion in schools, and for coordinated approaches with stronger leadership from the health and education sectors. Without these structures, schools can only address health in an ad hoc manner with limited resources, capacity, and outcomes
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)441 - 447
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of School Health
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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