Feb 03 2011

Oldest centre-right think tank in Britain says put the health back in education

The Bow Group, the oldest centre-right think tank in Britain, in conjunction with health social enterprise MEND has today published a report that reviews the health education policies and initiatives launched by the previous Government.


Putting the Health Back in Education considers where the Labour Government’s health education policies failed to deliver sustainable health outcomes and how the Coalition Government can achieve key objectives moving forward

This is the first comprehensive report into the role of health education in public health since the election and is very timely given December’s public health white paper and the current debate concerning the Coalition’s Health and Social Care bill.

In this paper, Tracey Bleakley, Stuart Carroll and Ross Carroll highlight the importance of delivering effective health education policy, focusing on how it can empower people with the knowledge and education they need to lead healthier lives, reduce reliance on the National Health Service, and ensure economic productivity is not undermined by unhealthy lifestyles and illness.

The Bow Group proposes a new three-phase model to deliver health education:

1.         National campaigns to encourage behaviour change

2.         Health education to be taught in schools as part of the core curriculum as well as to the general population; and,

3.         Targeted health management programmes as part of Extended Schools, developed nationally and delivered locally using community partnerships, families and specialist providers.

The paper is supported by a foreword from Charlotte Leslie, Conservative MP for Bristol North West and a member of the Education Select Committee, who writes:

“The authors have targeted an absolutely fundamental issue in this comprehensive and stimulating paper, which tackles head on some of the crucial issues and barriers to a healthier, happier and more active nation. This is an extremely valuable contribution to a debate that gets to the heart of the challenges of our future.”

For more information please contact Stuart Carroll, Chairman of the Bow Group Health and Education Policy Committee, on 07900 648070 or Lucy Hannagan, Head of Media and Communications at MEND on 020 7231 7225.  Alternatively, please contact Jennifer White, Bow Group Press Secretary on 07720 374188

Notes to editors:


About the Bow Group


The Bow Group is the oldest - and one of the most influential - centre-right Think-Tanks in Britain. The Group exists to develop policy, publish research and stimulate debate within the Conservative Party. It has no corporate view, but represents all strands of Conservative opinion.

Recent Bow Group Health and Education Committee publications include

“More Nudge than Nanny” - Bow Group Interim Response to the Public Health White Paper, Gary Jones, Stuart Carroll and Jennifer White

“Delivering Enhanced Pharmacy Services in a Modern NHS: Improving Outcomes in Public Health and Long Term Conditions”, Ross Carroll, Mike Hewitson and Stuart Carroll with a foreword from Baroness Julia Cumberlege

Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS Opportunities and Challenges, Stuart Carroll and Gary Jones



About MEND


MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition...Do it!) is a social enterprise that runs free healthy lifestyle programmes for two – 13 year olds and their families


The MEND Programme was devised by Great Ormond Street Hospital and the University College London’s Institute of Child Health

The MEND Programme is run in over 350 sites across the UK per term and has helped over 20,000 families

 MEND’s healthy lifestyle programmes are developed and tested by obesity specialists for delivery by a range of public and private sector partners.

MEND is a National Third Sector Partner of the Department of Health’s Change4Life campaign.




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