French economic and social council adopts its opinion to improve pupils' health

Romain Chave
11 May 2018

The ESN witnessed the adoption of the opinion of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC) on the health of pupils during its plenary session on 14 March in Paris.

At the beginning, the ESEC President, Patrick Bernasconi, noted the essential role of the civil society that tries to be an intermediary, a link to present the expectations and concerns of the population to public authorities.

The reporters, Jean-François Naton (CGT group) and Fatma Bouvet of Maisonneuve (Expert) presented the recommendations made within the context of this opinion structured around three main areas: increasing involvement in preventive actions, the guarantee of a suitable and rapid response to pupils' needs and the development, evaluation and monitoring of the education system's action on health.

Given the urgency of addressing the growing inequalities of access to care in France and due to the fact that schools are, in some cases, the only access to care and health, this opinion proposes to drive change and emphasises the need to move from ideas to action.

We will also highlight the intervention of the French Minister for National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, who emphasised the mission of pupils' health of which the education system cannot avoid its responsibility and which must be considered as "full and complete with medical follow-up and health education". In this sense, he mentions the close collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Solidarity and Health around four commitments: linking the school health policy with public health policy, the coordination of access to health before the age of 6, the development of tools and resources intended for families and the implementation of concrete preventive actions and health education within establishments.

To access the opinion on pupils' health, click here.