Understanding the factors that characterise school-community partnerships: The case of the Logan Healthy Schools Project
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Purpose - The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that characterise effective school-community partnerships that support the sustainability of school health initiatives applied within a health-promoting schools approach. Design/methodology/approach - The study used an explanatory case study approach of five secondary schools participating in a health-promoting school programme, "The Logan Healthy Schools Project" in Logan, South-East Queensland, Australia to investigate how school-community partnerships support the sustainability of school health initiatives. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 deputy principals, school staff members, and community-based partners, along with observations and a documentary analysis of Logan Healthy School Project activities. A thematic analysis was conducted on the data. Findings - The factors that characterise effective school-community partnerships that support the sustainability of school health initiatives include: a focus on building relationships between school and community partners, complementary capacities of school personnel and service providers, commonality of intent and shared goals between both parties, and competence of practice, primarily of the community service provider. These four factors were consistent at the school operational level and strategic programme co-ordination level of the Logan Healthy Schools Project, yet varied in importance across the initiation, growth, and maturity of the school-community partnerships. Originality/value - The study adds to the limited body of knowledge that surrounds effective school-community partnerships and how the features of these partnerships contribute to the sustainability of school health initiatives. The study highlights the importance of initiating, growing, and maintaining school-community partnerships and provides insight into the factors that should be considered when planning and developing school health promotion initiatives.
Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified