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Sharing information, knowledge and experience
Welcome to the web site of the International School Health Network (ISHN). The ISHN is an informal network of practitioners, researchers and government officials as well as regional and other networks, international agencies and organizations concerned with health, safety, development, equity, social development, sustainability and other forms of human development. The network is recognized as a partner by several UN agencies and is being developed in cooperation with several international organizations, professions and networks.
Ian Macrae Young
One of the early pioneers in school health promotion has passed away after several years battling cancer. He died peacefully at home on July 19, 2023, surrounded by his wife Anne and two sons, Kenny and Finlay. A dear colleague and friend, Ian was recognized as a Member of the Order of the British Empire ( MBE ) for his work in Scotland and Europe. He was a prolific writer, authoring many journal articles, book chapters, books, monographs and manuals as well as a being an advisor to several organizations and countries. ISHN first worked with Ian on a chapter discussing school heath promotion in a book published by the Union for Health Promotion & Education (IUHPE). Music was one of his passions, as well as photography. He captured the beauty of Scotland and elsewhere in his images and music, many of which are displayed at http://www.photographsofscotland.com and which can be heard on his CD Time and Tide. Sadly these days, we rarely hear the phrase " a gentleman and a scholar" used to describe someone. In Ian's case, it could not be more accurate. We will miss him.
Submission to UN Transforming Education Summit (June 2022 & Ongoing)
ISHN took the lead in preparing a "good practices" submission to the UN Transforming Education Summit held in September 2022. The policy brief suggested ways to promote inter-ministry coordination through the use of Intersectoral Policy-Program Coordination Frameworks (IPPCFs) such as healthy schools, safe schools and many others. A list of over 20 such frameworks was included in the brief and country examples of strategies to develop, implement and sustain coordination using these frameworks were provided, drawing from a UNICEF-UNESCO-ISHN-SFU survey & study.
The brief was submitted on behalf of other FRESH Partners. It may have had an impact on the UN summit discussions because "whole of government approaches emerged as an important issue. An analysis of country commitments/national consultations from the Summit and the December 2022 strategic guidance document following the summit from the UN High Level Steering Committee both emphasized the urgent need for whole of government action. ,
Fact-Finding Survey & Policy/Curriculum Analysis
Several members of the FRESH Partnership are undertaking a global fact-finding survey and collection/analysis of policy/curriculum documents from all countries and states/provinces. Lead organizations in this initiative include UNICEF, UNESCO, ISHN and other organizations.This summary of the project provides an overview.
The purpose of this initiative is to provide a factual, global report that can be used as a benchmark for countries in their continuous improvement planning as well as a start to UN agency monitoring efforts related to the Sustainable Development Goals. More information is available on the FRESH web site.
Covid & Schools: A Post Mortem & a Plan for Puture Pandemics
ISHN has started a conversation on the Covid 19 pandemic based on the premise that this disruption in schooling and damages to our health are not the first, not the last. The current responses to the Covid have been focused on short-term issues, including in-school transmission, closing/opening schools, better communications with parents, building on the “success” of remote learning, measuring academic “learning losses” and providing mental health services. Evidence and experience suggest that longer-term investments such as more instructional time on health & vaccine literacy, investments in extended educational activities (school rules/routines/rituals, in-school/after school activities) to promote social & emotional development, better ventilation in schools, greater use of in-school vaccination campaigns & school clinics, more school nurses in schools to monitor student health, vaccines and coordinate interventions and other coordinated interventions. A FRESH webinar held on 17 May 2022 has started the discussion. Watch for more activities with FRESH partnerts to develop a framework on preventing infectious diseases in the future.
Global Discussion on Inclusion
We are pleased to be part of a global discussion on inclusion policies and practices on inclusion. ISHN organized a FRESH Webinar on the 2020 Global Education Monitoring report which had several leading organizations on inclusion commenting on the UNESCO report. These organizations have agreed to undertake several activities that will help countries improve their inclusive education efforts. Go to FRESH this web page for the latest updates.
The collective voice of Deans of Education will soon be more active at the global level with the formation of the Global Network of Deans of Education(GNDE). ISHN has been facilitating the development of this network that will be led by regional and national deans associations but open to over 5000 institutions. ISHN will be working with GNDE on a Consortium of Education & Other Faculties promoting HPSD education.
Schools, Settings & Systems is the theme of a plenary session at a world conference workshop being organized by ISHN and partners in April, 2019 in Rotura, New Zealand.
Preventing Violent Extremism is the goal of a project grant recently secured by ISHN and Daniel Laitsch of the Education Faculty at Simon Fraser university. The project will develop a research/ knowledge development agenda for Canada and other countries to use in preventing extremism and promoting social inclusion. The project was launched at a recent session in Cape Town, South Africa at the world congress of the World Education Research Association.
The Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN has contracted with ISHN to prepare a policy brief in the integration of school food & nutrition programs within education systems. The brief will suggest a systems-based strategy that is based on reciprocal benefits rather then the one way benefits (health only) often suggested in some interpretations of the WHO Health in All Policies approach.
2030 UN Goals - HPSD Education
ISHN is helping to create an international discussion on Health, Personal, Social Development (HPSD) education and the education/development of teachers and others to deliver classroom instruction and other forms of extended educational opportunities. This includes the FRESH Working Group on Health Literacy, Life Skills & Social Inclusion, an International Research Network in cooperation with the World Education Research Association and helping to create a Global Network of Deans of Education (GNDE) to work on workforce development issues.
ISHN-Plan International (UK) Work on NCD's in Low Resource Countries
A series of policy/program summaries and several webinars will be the products of a partnership between ISJN and Plan International. The five topics relating to NCD's in low resource settings include substance abuse, physical activity, mental health, diet and promoting overall educational success, health and development. These summaries are being used to update the Thematic/Topic indicators published by the FRESH Partnership.
ISHN joined partners in organizing several SH sessions at IAAH Conference in Delhi, India in 26-29 October 2017. Get the details here. The activities included a workshop launching a global discussion of the draft Statement on School Health Promotion in the 21st Century.
Global Delphi Consultation : What We Know & Need to Know in School Health & Development
ISHN and its partners will be re-launching this global Delphi-based and online consultation in 2021. This consultation will collate, summarize, discuss and finalize an extensive list of statements describing the current research, data and experience-based knowledge and research issues on school health & development. Over 150 practitioners, experts and officials will be involved directly in the Delphi process. An online consultation, web meetings, a book and workshops at a global conference are included.
The ASCD-EI-ISHN Global Dialogue on Integration of Health & Social Programs within Education Systems included regional workshops, consensus statement and an e-book (in progress) See and sign on to the Consensus Statement