School cultures and structures have a strong impact on shaping habits from an early age and play an important role in setting the foundations for a healthy life. Schools4Health will invest in making every school a health promoting school.

The Schools4Health project

Schools4Health (2023-2025) strives to introduce, strengthen, and sustain the adoption of a participatory whole-of-school approach to health and wellbeing. The initiative will work with schools to analyse, implement and evaluate good practices in the fields of healthy nutrition, physical activity and mental health. These efforts will demonstrate how public investments in Health Promoting Schools and other whole-school approaches to health:

  • Provide the right conditions for children and adolescents to adopt healthier behaviours;
  • Promote active engagement across the school community;
  • Improve academic performance and health literacy;
  • Address societal challenges like equity, climate change and environmental degradation.

The 3-year project, led by EuroHealthNet, is EU-wide in scale with partners from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. These partners collectively bring extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of school health and health promotion. They have a proven track record of collaborating with local, regional, and national health authorities, as well as educational institutions, to foster healthier school environments.


  1. To promote whole-schools for health approaches such as the Health Promoting School (HPS) and broaden cross-sector cooperation to achieve this.
  2. To stimulate policy makers and practitioners to prioritise and act on enabling factors and barriers to implement the HPS approach or other whole-school approaches to health and strengthen their capacities to do so.
  3. To identify specific best practices that promote healthy lifestyles as part of a whole-school approach.
  4. To implement selected ‘best practices’ in schools, applying a participatory approach.
  5. To strengthen the contributions that HPS can make not just to health, but also to equity and the environment.
  6. To ensure that EU-level policies and instruments support HPS approaches and that stakeholders benefit from them.

Target Groups

Schools4Health will primarily focus on students and staff from primary and secondary schools, giving special attention to deprived areas with a significant proportion of children and youth in or facing vulnerable circumstances.

Creating a shift in school environments and cultures towards a health-promoting approach also involves the participation of the wider school community, including teachers, school leaders and administrators, families, experts in the field, policymakers and practitioners. Schools4Health will therefore take a participatory approach in the implementation of best practices around mental health, healthy nutrition, and physical activity, grounded by the ethos of whole-school approaches to health.

Finally, we will build on the work of and engage with other researchers, professionals and organisations that promote ''whole of school approaches to health'', to harmonize efforts to promote HPS across Europe. We will also engage with politicians, policy, and other decision makers at EU and sub-national level, that can help us achieve this.

"Project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor HaDEA can be held responsible for them."