Policies are a key requirement of the audit and are highlighted throughout all the core themes. This is why we look for evidence of policy documents and their implementation when we visit schools.

The National Healthy Schools Programme audit requires a Healthy School to have up-to-date policies in place, developed through wide consultation, implemented, monitored and evaluated for impact. These policies cover Sex and Relationships Education, Drugs Education and Incidents, child protection, confidentiality, whole school food policy, whole school physical activity policy, whole school behaviour and rewards policy and bullying policy. This links with Ofsted and self-evaluation, 2a, 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e.

The important thing is that policies are put into practice throughout the school. That's why we are happy to help schools get a feel for policy content by providing framework policies that schools can develop for their own needs (see the individual policy pages on this website). What we don't want to encourage is off-the-peg policies that go straight from the website to a folder on a shelf in a staffroom only to be wheeled out when we visit.

However we are very clear that we don't want schools to have to re-invent the wheel or start with a blank sheet when there is existing good practice, neither do we want to see schools having to produce lengthy, wordy policies that is not really about the needs of the school.