Health Promoting Special Schools for Children and Young People With Intellectual Disabilities in Poland: Development of Standards and Self-Evaluation Procedures
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The purpose of the study was to present the process and results of developing standards and self-evaluation procedures for health promoting special schools (HPSS) for children with intellectual disabilities. The work was undertaken in order to address the needs of special schools interested in establishing a health promoting school (HPS). We used following methods: 1) Preparation: interviews with principals and teachers at 8 special schools, as well as regional HPS network coordinators, visits to 4 schools; 2) Development of HPSS project standards, self-evaluation procedures and tools: consultations with representatives of 8 schools and with regional coordinators; 3) Pilot study of HPSS the self-evaluation procedure and tools at 8 schools and development of a finalised version: direct observation, document analysis, interviews with selected participants, survey studies of school staff and students’ parents, testing students using one of the following methods: “Draw and write”, “Draw and tell”, conversation or written response. The study included people supporting HPS on a national and regional level, school principals and health promotion coordinators from special schools for students with intellectual disabilities. The pilot study was conducted on a group of 341 teaching staff, 148 non-teaching staff, 468 parents of students, and 435 students. The analysis of the study’s reports and consultations with school principals and health-promotion coordinators from participating schools guided the development of the final version of standards, in addition to the associated model of HPSS and self-evaluation procedure along with a set of tools to measure the accomplishment of the standards. The HPSS standards and self-evaluation procedure were approved by the Ministry of National Education and officially disseminated, with special schools gaining the opportunity to apply for the Health Promoting School National Certificate. The self-evaluation element of HPSS makes it possible to improve the activities of special schools with respect to health promotion while encouraging collaboration and exchange of ideas with regular schools.
Keywords:special schools, intellectual disability, health promotion, health promoting school, standards, self-evaluation
Volume 35, Number: 2, Year 2020 of International Journal of Special Education