2010

Purpose: This paper develops a framework to demonstrate the contribution of the health promoting school approach to the promotion of school connectedness, defined as the cohesiveness between diverse groups in the school community, including students, families, school staff and the wider community. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-discipliry review of literature was conducted to identify strategies consistent with a comprehensive school approach and the values and principles that promote school connectedness. A framework of the contribution of the health promoting school approach to promoting school connectedness was developed drawing on health promotion strategies at the broader community level known to foster connectedness. Findings: The framework developed illustrates how the health promoting school approach has the potential to build school connectedness through two major mechanisms: 1) inclusive processes that involve the diversity of members that make up a community; the active participation of community members and equal 'power' relationships, or equal partnerships among community members; and 2) supportive structures such as school policies, the way the school is organised and its physical environment, that reflect the values of participation, democracy and inclusiveness and/or that promote processes based on these values. Practical Implications: The detailed mechanisms outlined in the framework provide practical strategies for health promotion practitioners and educators to use in the everyday school setting to promote school connectedness. Origility/value - This framework draws together substantial bodies of evidence and makes a persuasive case for the contribution of the health promoting school approach to building school connectedness. Keywords: health promoting school, connectedness, health promotion Paper type: conceptual paper