Department of Education

Education is well known to be a key determinant of health and wellbeing. Research shows that the important foundations of adult health, such as eating well, exercising and not smoking, are laid in early childhood.

In adult life, education increases opportunities for choice of occupation, for income and job security, and also equips people with the skills and ability to control many aspects of their lives—key factors that influence wellbeing throughout the life course. Participation in schooling is also a significant protective factor across a range of risk factors including substance misuse and homelessness.

Reciprocally, we also know that children who experience chronic illness, disability or mental health issues often become disengaged with the education system. These children are at risk of missing education opportunities if they are not provided with the extra support to keep them engaged, or, if already disengaged, to re-engage them with the education system. Long-term disengagement with the education system is also a precursor for disengagement with society more broadly.

This Agreement sets out the basis for partnership and collaboration between the Department for Health and Wellbeing and the Department for Education. Opportunities to implement the following areas of mutual interest will be explored and actioned, as agreed, by the parties of this agreement: 

  • Nutrition – nutrition is a critical determinant of health. Good nutrition supports children’s learning by improving concentration and cognitive functioning, thereby increasing their ability to participate in both the educational and social aspects of schooling.
  • Physical Activity – being physically active contributes to good physical and mental health and wellbeing, and provides opportunities for social interactions.
  • Wellbeing – children and young people with good wellbeing are more engaged and successful learners. A good education in turn contributes to increased wellbeing