Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting

Achieving scale and depth in early learning centres and schools: implications for practice and examples of policy, environmental and behavioural change (#228)

Chad Foulkes 1 2 , Monica Evans 2 , Chelsea Holcombe 2 , Steffanie Rodd 2
  1. City of Greater Geelong, Geelong, VIC, Australia
  2. Healthy Together Geelong, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

The Victorian Government provided support to Healthy Together Victoria with a brief to 'improve people's health where they live, learn, work and play'. As one of twelve locally managed communities participating in this initiative, Healthy Together Geelong was tasked with addressing the underlying cause of poor health outcomes in Geelong and to strengthen the regional preventive health system.
As part of these efforts the Victorian Government have developed a health promoting schools model called the Healthy Together Achievement Program and tasked Healthy Together Geelong with supporting 95% of the 180 early learning centres, primary and secondary schools.
The Achievement Program has a series of quality benchmarks that sees organisations work toward policy, environmental behavioural changes across a range of health priority areas.
Few initiatives set out to achieve a scale of 95% and fewer get there. Critics of working at scale claim that scale can come at the cost of depth. Healthy Together Geelong has achieved both.
To date 79 of 90 early learning centres, 50 of 65 primary schools and 15 of 25 secondary schools have been recruited. Engaging 80% of the 180 organisations demonstrates that scale has been achieved.
Depth will be demonstrated across all settings in the presentation, here we present depth measures for early learning centres only. Of the 79 registered early learning centres 59% have completed Stage 1, 27% completed Stage 2, 25% completed Stage 3 and 8.7% have completed the final Stage and commenced the quality improvement process.
Achieving scale across settings does not need to come at the expense of achieving depth of health promoting schools models. This presentation will highlight examples of systems and structural changes demonstrating how scale and depth have been achieved together with examples of policy, environmental and behavioural change within early learning centres, primary and secondary schools. Implications for practice will also be discussed.