UNESCO Chair GHE

Schools, a foundation for healthy lives

The article Supporting every school to become a foundation for healthy lives[i] by Didier Jourdan, Nicola Gray et. al., published on January 22, 2021 in the “Lancet Child and Adolescent Health” takes stock of the available evidence regarding school health interventions and the conditions necessary for their effectiveness and sustainability. It calls for an educational look at health issues. It reminds us that to improve health and reduce inequalities, all pupils must attend school from an early age and for as long as possible, and that their success at school must be maximised. Coherence between policies, structures and systems, human resources and practices in each school is necessary to improve school and health outcomes. Finally, it shows that health professionals can be catalysts for structural change and act as vehicles for cross-sectoral implementation of reforms and innovations in school systems to promote the health of all students.

Read the article and the editorial of the Lancet

The authors presenting the key ideas of the article

Sonja Caffe, PhD Regional Advisor on Adolescent Health, Family, Health Promotion and Life Course, PAHO/WHO

Professor Susan M Sawyer, MD Director, Centre for Adolescent Health Royal Children’s Hospital; Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; and Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Australia; President, International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH)

Sean Slade, MEd Senior Director of Global Outreach, ASCD, United States

Nicola J Gray, PhD Affiliated Researcher, UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education Research Group, Université Clermont Auvergne, France Vice-President for Europe, International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH)

Professor Fadi El Hage, PhD Delegate of the Rector for Professional Development; Chair holder of Eco-citizenship and Sustainable Development Education/Fondation Diane ; Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon

Watch the videos in different languages and with different speakers


[i] Jourdan, D., Gray, N. J., Barry, M. M., Caffe, S., Cornu, C., Diagne, F., El Hage, F., Farmer, M. Y., Slade, S., Marmot, M., & Sawyer, S. M. (2021). Supporting every school to become a foundation for healthy lives. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30316-3