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#BeeWell renews call to make young people’s wellbeing everybody’s business following PISA report

This week, the latest results from the OECD’s PISA study were released and highlighted that the life satisfaction for young people in the UK was one of the lowest.

This week, the latest results from the OECD’s PISA study were released and highlighted that the life satisfaction for young people in the UK was one of the lowest. 

PISA is an international assessment of 15-year-olds across over 80 countries and is used to compare international educational standards over time. The latest results show average life satisfaction of young people in the UK is the second lowest in the OECD, ahead of only Turkey. 

#BeeWell was founded four years ago with Anna Freud, The Gregson Family Foundation,The University of Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in response to PISA’s 2018 report, where it was highlighted that the wellbeing of young people across the UK was substantially lower than peers internationally, and within the bottom 5% of countries surveyed. 

#BeeWell believes that young people’s wellbeing is as important as their academic attainment, and there is a need to listen to young people and drive action across society to improve their wellbeing in the areas that they themselves identify as important. 

This autumn, #BeeWell has continued to amplify the voices of young people and heard from 38,000 students in years 8 and 10 in Greater Manchester, Hampshire, The Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, and Southampton. Together withthe #BeeWell Coalition of Partners, the programme is acting on the survey results to improve young people’s wellbeing. 

Professor Jessica Deighton, Anna Freud & UCL said: “The PISA report is evidence that more needs to be done to support the wellbeing of young people across the UK. We must find another way to ensure our children flourish not just academically but socially and emotionally. We need to consider a different approach through understanding the wellbeing needs of our young people and collectively working together to improve them, which the #BeeWell survey and research findings aims to achieve. At Anna Freud we have been developing the whole school approach to help support mentally healthy schools and there are free resources available online for teachers and students.” 

James Robertson, National Director, #BeeWell said: “We’re renewing our call for the consistent measurement of young people’s wellbeing across all schools nationally to drive change that reaches young people in all corners of the country.  

“And we’re not alone: parents are calling for schools to measure the wellbeing of their pupils and teachers agree that wellbeing should be measured at least once a year. We urge all those who care about the wellbeing of our young people to demand a national response that prioritises both wellbeing and attainment.  Let’s make young people’s wellbeing everybody’s business.” 

Professor Neil Humphrey, The University of Manchester, said: “The PISA results show that listening to young people about their wellbeing is vital if we want to see improved life satisfaction amongst young people. We’ve been collecting neighbourhood-level data to further our understanding of the domains and drivers of wellbeing in Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton, allowing us to share unique insights to improve the lives of young people The decline in life satisfaction of young people in our country shows that more work needs to be done.” 

The #BeeWell team will now begin analysing the feedback from this year’s surveys. The data will be made publicly available at the end of March 2024. 

The full reports for England, Northern Ireland and Wales can be found on the following websites: