For parents and carers
Many parents and carers want to support the Healthy Schools work at their children's school but feel they don't know enough about it, so ...
Parents and carers! This part of our website is for you.
Why be involved?
Schools welcome parents' contributions and your involvement will help your child (children whose parents participate in their school learn well and achieve). Being involved will also give you a better understanding of how the school works and you'll get to know other parents. But most importantly, the aims of Healthy Schools can only truly be met if parents and carers are fully engaged with the work schools do to improve and promote pupils' health.
How to get involved
For information about helping out at school, joining the parent-teacher association and much more, go to your child's school and speak with the secretary. Schools are usually delighted to have parents involved and your child will be really proud to see you around school (until they become teenagers!).
You could also consider becoming a governor (one third of governors in British state schools must be parents).
Supporting your child around the Healthy Schools topics
When a school seeks to gain Healthy School status it is required to demonstrate evidence meeting the criteria in the Annual Audit. Here are some resources for parents and carers, listed by the themes used in the Annual Audit.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic education includes Relationships and Sex Education and teaching about drugs, alcohol and tobacco. We have found that Speakeasy is a great way for parents to become comfortable with talking to their children about growing up. Has there been a Speakeasy course at your child's school? If not, why not get involved in starting one? Read about Speakeasy at Pencoys School. We've also got lots of resources to help you talk to your child about growing up on our RSE minisite: Relationships and Sex Education: resources for parents and carers.
The NHS in East Sussex produced this useful leaflet Talking to your children about alcohol.
There is a parents' section with lots of information and advice on the School Food Trust's website. The School Food Trust also produced the Little Book of Goodness which is designed for parents of reception-age children starting school for the first time; it touches on the nutrition standards for school food which help to ensure that all children enjoy healthy, tasty meals at school. We developed a leaflet to help parents with their children's lunchboxes, Ideas for a healthier lunchbox. In another leaflet for parents, Standards for food other than lunch the School Food Trust gives a checklist showing what parents can do to help encourage children to eat healthy snacks.
Parents may also find the Change4Life resources helpful, for example 8 changes and Change4Life top tips. There are also the Step by step booklets: Step by step: me size meals and Step by step: 5 a day.
The British Heart Foundation has lots of ideas to Get kids on the go!
The Change4Life campaign has produced a toolkit Let's dance with Change4Life to help families get up and about through dance.
Emotional health and wellbeing
What should you do if you suspect that your child is being bullied? These leaflets are designed to inform parents about bullying and to offer support.
Family Links is a registered charity promoting emotional literacy, nurturing and relationship skills in families, schools and communities.
Supporting your children on specific occasions
Other useful websites
The BBC's excellent website has a subsection of its schools information devoted to parents. Direct Gov for parents also gives information and support on how to help with children's learning and Parents in Touch, advertising itself as a website for busy parents, provides a wealth of educational material.
Great Ormond Street Hospital's Children First website provides much helpful information and practical advice about children's illnesses and health. The website has sections about infants, children, teenagers and the family.
For health information that is easy to understand, visit Easy Health.