Assessment of a national network: the case of the French teacher training colleges' health education network

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The French teacher training colleges’ health education (HE) network was set up in 2005 to encourage the inclusion of HE in courses for primary and secondary school teachers. A systematic process of monitoring the activity and the impact of this initiative was implemented. This analysis was systematically compared with the perceptions of teaching staff involved in the network. This paper assesses the network after 2 years using documents produced and interviews with 24 coordinators. Twenty-nine teacher training colleges out of a total of 31 are involved in the network. The network has helped to create links between teacher training colleges, extend HE training and encourage partnerships with other public health organizations. By 2007, HE was included in courses offered by 19 teacher training colleges as opposed to only 3 in 2005. This study not only showed the positive impact of the network but also revealed issues in its management and presented new challenges to ensure the effectiveness of the network. The network has succeeded in attracting and training trainers who were already providing or were interested in HE. Reaching other trainers who are not familiar with HE remains a challenge for the future.

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