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Health education in The New Zealand Curriculum: A matter of policy

Jenny Robertson and Rachael Dixon

Understanding the policy directed education environment in which health education as a subject sits in The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is akin to attempting a complex jigsaw puzzle without a picture to show how the pieces fit together. This article will provide an overview of the multiple education policies, presented as a “jigsaw”, that give shape to health education in NZC. Ongoing challenges for health education associated with aspects of the jigsaw will be highlighted, including consideration of policy that guides whole-school approaches for the promotion of wellbeing as an integral feature of schooling improvement. As the health and education sectors, and different parts of the education sector, intersect and often collide in relation to health education, a wide range of stakeholders would benefit from better understanding of the policy-bound responsibilities and accountabilities of schools in order to ensure that their service provision and resources are consistent with current policy and reflect best practice on educational terms.

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