Health promoting schools in the Gorenjska region – perspectives of school coordinators Tanja Torkar and Brigita Skela Savič
Summary: There are fifteen Health Promoting Schools in the Gorenjska region with varying times of engagement in the Slovenian Network of Health Promoting Schools which is organized under the European Network of Health Promoting Schools. Since 2007 regional coordination has been led by the Institute of Public Health in Kranj. With this study we wanted to determine the opinion of school coordinators on the functioning and coordination of the project in the Gorenjska region and gather proposals for changes. Qualitative research included 14 of the 15 school coordinators. The method used was a written survey and the data were analyzed by the method of textual analysis. The results show that school coordinators have a positive opinion of Health Promoting Schools. Inclusion in the Network had many positive effects on the health and healthy lifestyles of schoolchildren and on the organization of school work and cooperation with the community. Regional coordination was evaluated positively – the school coordinators revealed better accessibility, professional education and good cooperation in the region. The problems relating to the Health Promoting School are mainly seen in some deficiencies in the health promoting program, lack of staff motivation and financial resources. Regarding this, they highlighted proposals for change at the level of the school community and at a regional and national level. From a regional coordinator they expect strengthening of education areas, professional support and intersectoral integration within the region and beyond.