Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Why schools should promote students’ health and wellbeing

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 13 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3078

Rapid Response:

Re: Why schools should promote students’ health and wellbeing

Bonell and colleagues rightly highlight the widespread assumption that health promotion and academic attainment represents a “zero-sum game” in British educational policy.[1] Although their clear and evidence-based recommendations would greatly benefit the schooling system they omitted the values of a key stakeholder. Whilst working on the National Child Measurement Programme our team received a letter from an angry head teacher descrying the continued annexation of staff time and resources to support yet another programme that would not deliver any tangible benefits to his pupils. The delayed time horizon of any public health intervention makes them intrinsically more difficult to sell. Furthermore teachers have traditionally viewed health as falling outside their primary remit. They represent a powerful lobbying force who are passionate about seeing their pupils flourish. If the synergistic relationship between health, academic attainment and economic competitiveness can be convincingly communicated to this group then a powerful ally for change could be won.

1 BMJ 2014;348:g3078

Competing interests: No competing interests

20 May 2014
Luke N Allen
Foundation Doctor
Royal Cornwall Hospital
Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3LJ