This page includes information about:
- how and why to measure pupil wellbeing
- how to measure the wellbeing of groups of pupils using cohort surveys.
Understanding the wellbeing and mental health needs of your pupils is at the heart of a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing.
Gathering data from children and young people enables you to understand their needs, identify interventions, allocate resources and measure how responses change over time.
By measuring pupil wellbeing, this will help you to understand whether the investment you’re making in your pupils’ mental health is led by the needs of your pupils.
It is good practice to identify where your interventions and approaches are making a difference, so that you can regularly review and develop next steps.
Using measurement tools can give you useful and informative data for your school or college community and can help you to understand the following:
- the strengths of your pupils
- the needs of your pupils
- how to identify the most suitable interventions to address these needs
- how to allocate resources to meet their needs
- measuring how their needs change over time.
How do we measure pupil wellbeing?
Using researched or well-established questionnaires which have an evidence base which is valid and reliable ensures robust measurement.
These questionnaires are widely used in research and mental health settings to measure many areas of mental wellbeing including:
- peer relationships
- protective factors
- emotional and social skills
- life satisfaction
- feelings towards school or college.
A range of questionnaires are available which are suitable for different purposes, and groups of young people. These can be found on the CORC website.
These questionnaires can be used for the following:
- as part of a survey of a group or cohort of children or young people (see below)
- to help identify children and/or young people who may benefit from additional support
- to evaluate the impact of support and intervention.
Measuring and monitoring children and young people’s mental wellbeing: A toolkit for schools and colleges, which was developed by the Centre with the support of Public Health England, provides expert guidance to support the use of questionnaires.
Measuring the mental wellbeing of groups of pupils using cohort surveys
You can use the questionnaires from CORC as part of a survey. A combination of questionnaires can help you assess wellbeing and behavioural or emotional difficulties, as well as the presence and strength of protective factors such as support at school, home and in the community. They can also measure the child or young person’s ability to deal with stress and manage emotions.
There’s lots to consider when planning to survey a cohort of children or young people. Using ‘tried and tested’ resources can be very supportive and beneficial.
The Wellbeing Measurement Frameworks provide sets of questions, selected for different age groups. They were developed by Evidence Based Practice Unit, CORC, The University of Manchester and Common Room and are free to download.
Our resource Using measurement tools to understand pupils’ mental health needs: a guide for schools and colleges provides more detailed guidance on implementing cohort surveys.
If you’d like support with your cohort survey, Wellbeing Measurement for Schools provides an online survey, along with support covering consent, and data transfer, and analysis of your results. It also details a summary report including comparisons with other schools. There is a charge for this service to cover costs.
Wellbeing measurement toolkit for schools and colleges
This toolkit sets out how to measure and monitor pupil wellbeing.
Wellbeing Measurement Framework
Sets of validated questionnaire booklets for primary and secondary schools and colleges. You can use these questionnaires to carry out a survey and to help you assess wellbeing, behavioural or emotional difficulties, as well as the presence and strength of protective factors.
Anna Freud Centre and CORC: Using measurement tools to understand need
This short guide for schools and colleges focuses on how to use measurement tools to understand pupils’ wellbeing so that you can provide them with the support they need.
Anna Freud Centre and CORC: Measuring mental wellbeing e-learning
This free e-learning package aims to increase the awareness, understanding and confidence of non-specialist and school staff who support the wellbeing and mental health of children or young people to access the benefits associated with measuring mental wellbeing.
Nick Tait from CORC discusses the process of carrying out a pupil wellbeing survey
Lee Atkins gives a more detailed presentation about measuring and monitoring wellbeing, using the wellbeing toolkit
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