Frequently Asked Questions

expand What is a Healthy School?

A Healthy School:

  • is one that promotes physical, social and emotional health and helps equip pupils, staff and families with the skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their health. 
  • is successful in supporting pupils to do their best and build on their achievements; it is committed to ongoing improvement and development.
  • recognises the importance of investing in health to assist in the process of raising children and young people's achievement levels.
  • involves the whole school community, parents, governors, staff and pupils in improving children's health, wellbeing and happiness, helping them to get the most out of life.

expand What is the School Health Check?

The School Health Check is an online toolkit to help schools self validate against the 4 core health themes of Healthy Schools (PSHE, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and SEMH).

The School Health Check:

  • ensures the school has the fundamental elements of Healthy Schools in place to achieve/maintain Healthy School Status
  • allows schools to audit health and wellbeing across all 4 themes and grade provision using Ofsted style descriptors to identify and celebrate strengths, as well as next steps
  • Each ‘criteria’ has been matched, wherever possible, to current Ofsted descriptors, therefore helping schools to understand the links between health and wellbeing and Ofsted 

Schools will also need to identify a target for each of the 4 health themes. These targets can be used to inform next steps and working towards the Health Champion model which demonstrates impact and improvement over a period of time .  


expand What does Healthy School Status require?

Healthy School Status requires schools to meet criteria in four core health themes:

  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) including Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and Drug Education (including alcohol, tobacco and volatile substance abuse.
  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH)

These criteria relate not only to the taught curriculum but also to the emotional, physical and learning environment that the school provides. Many schools are already engaged in these activities so achieving recognition need not be onerous. Within each of the four core health themes there are 10 strands:




4.Teaching & Learning


6.Pupil Voice

7.Support Services

8.Professional Development


10.School Ethos

 Schools are encouraged to take a whole school approach in order to:

  • develop an ethos and environment that supports learning and promotes the health and wellbeing of all
  • engage, consult and encourage participation of all within the school community
  • create an extremely effective school improvement mechanism which brings about and embeds cultural and behavioural change in schools

expand Who should complete the School Health Check?

The Healthy School Coordinator should lead and coordinate the process, with the support of senior leadership. It is best practice for individual sections to be completed in partnership/collaboration with the most appropriate coordinator/person/people for each theme. For example, the physical activity coordinator may complete the physical activity section, in order to adopt a whole school approach. These groups may also include pupils, parents and governors, where appropriate.

expand How long is Healthy Schools Status valid for?

Healthy Schools Status is valid for 3 years from the date the self-validation is accepted. However, it is recommended that the audit is reviewed and updated regularly after submission to ensure the information is up to date and relevant. This can be done through this website.

expand How much does it cost?

Annual subscription to this website is £250+VAT, giving you access to the toolkit for 12 months. We also have a special training package of £325 (which includes an annual subscription to the website) for those schools that can come to Leeds for a half day training workshop to ensure you make the most of the powerful tools available on the website. If you have any queries, or want to discuss us bringing the training to you, do get in touch via the 'contact us' page. Schools in Leeds: subscription to has been subsidised by Public Health. Please contact us for the reduced cost to your school.

expand What setting is the award for?

The award is for all schools; infant, primary, secondary, free, independent, PRUs and SILCs. We have a cross section of schools who have completed the award.

expand Will I have to put a portfolio of evidence together?

No, the Healthy Schools Award is a non-portfolio based award. If your school does have an external assessment visit, following your self-validation, you will be asked for a number of documents prior to the assessment, such as curriculum plans and a range of policies linked to the four core health themes of the award. The rest of the evidence will be collected via interviews with key stakeholders during the assessment visit.

expand What is the impact as a result of achieving the award?

It demonstrates to the whole school community, a commitment to the health and wellbeing of the pupils and staff in school.

Improved health and wellbeing outcomes for pupils in schools.

A clear focus for key/all staff for all four health areas, informing development planning and practice.

A celebration of good practice within school, around health and wellbeing.

expand How long does it take to complete the award?

We do not set timescales. The School Health Check can be changed and updated as many times as it needs to be before submission. For those schools wishing to have an external assessment we would aim to do this within 12 months of you submitting your self-validated school health check.

expand Our school has a Nursery/Post-16, does this need to be included in our Healthy Schools work and will it be assessed?

At the current time, there is no Healthy Schools award for Early Years/Post-16 and there are no specific criteria for Nursery/Post 16, but we include visiting Foundation Stage/Post-16 on our school tour during the Healthy Schools assessment day.

expand I can’t remember my password, what do I do?

 Just click on the 'Forgotten Password' link under the Log in tag.

expand What is a Health Champion?

The Health Champion Award is an enhancement model which replaces the Healthy Schools Plus award. Schools who have been validated as a Healthy School, through a full days assessment visit, can engage in the model to achieve Health Champion status. It helps both primary and secondary schools develop their wider thinking and planning in order to continue to achieve improved outcomes for the health and wellbeing of pupils in their setting. Schools are able to choose to work on any of the four key areas of the School Health Check; PSHE, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity or Social, Emotional and Mental Health. Alongside their Healthy Schools consultant and using their My Health My School or other data, schools will identify at least one specific area to improve on. They will implement an action plan outlining their focus, which includes qualitative and/or quantitative data to measure impact on either targeted or universal provision. Assessment of outcomes will also include a case study, describing outcomes and impact.

expand What do schools say about the Healthy Schools Award?


"The online tool is really helpful and I like the idea that it can create an action for you."

"The team have really listened to us (teachers) to improve the new website."

"As a coordinator, the website is so easy to use and to see where our strengths are and what we need improve."

"The online tool makes it so quick and easy to self-evaluate and to see where our school is."

"The SHC is great, really easy to use and to have something ready for Ofsted!"

expand References