It is no secret that schools have an important role to play when it comes to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. 1 in every 6 primary-aged children and 1 in every 20 teachers are now likely to experience mental health problems and this is on the rise!
There is a clear need for schools to monitor and measure this key area. However, knowing where to start can feel daunting.
We recommend that schools follow the following five steps to monitor and measure wellbeing effectively, resulting in improved outcomes and maximum impact. You may want to adapt our guidelines to suit your own school and its unique requirements.
1) Start with your intent
An important part of building a strategy is having a clear understanding of your intent and aligning it, linked to your school’s improvement plan. You need to be clear on how findings will be used to enhance your approach and the support offered to all stakeholders.
Carrying out a review or assessment of your current provision is a good place to start to help identify your purpose. This will ensure you have a clear vision linked to your desired outcomes
2) Choose what to measure
Once you have identified your objectives and intent, it will be easier to decide which survey to use. In our experience, most settings opt initially for a ‘temperature check’ survey, such as the ‘Stirling Children’s Wellbeing Scale’ or the “Student Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire”. These are effective to gain a whole-school overview where an action plan can be easily produced on the back of the results.
3) Choose a survey
There are hundreds of measures covering all types of areas, so we recommend doing a little bit of research. At BounceTogether, we provide our schools with access to over 60 validated wellbeing measures, which cover a variety of key categories, some of which cannot be found anywhere else.
To support your selection of appropriate surveys, we have created a useful summary that provides all the relevant information. This will make your choice much easier and ensures you are using a measure that is recognised and tested. Download Here
4) How to capture your data
Planning and going about your data capture can be a simple process, but you do need to consider:
- Audience and Anonymity - You need to consider whether you need or want to know the identities of participants and how they have responded.
- Timing - One question we are asked a lot is “when should we run our survey”. This doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. If you are measuring for impact evaluation, you are likely to collect data before and after making changes. If you are wanting to track wellbeing over a longer period of time, then you might measure progress at several intervals throughout the school year.
- Location - Where will the survey be taken, during or outside of school? When you’ve planned when you’re going to run your survey and capture the data, you may want to enlist some colleagues to support you.
- System / method - There are a variety of methods that you can use to run a survey. We believe that you should always use the right tool for the job. You should avoid is spending inordinate amounts of time collecting/collating results several times a year. This is inefficient and also unhealthy for your own wellbeing. You need to consider the cost of each method. Paper surveys and online forms may seem cost-efficient but you need to think about this in terms of printing and the time you will need to spend collating and analysing information
5) Results and analysing
When it’s your first survey you won’t be able to compare this set of results against one you have run before. However, if you are using a tool that allows for it, you will be able to filter key demographics, years, ages etc within the same survey. Being able to do this is really useful as an overall set of results (e.g. the whole school) may mask problems with a certain group. Traditions and different cultural norms may influence how one group of individuals perceive their wellbeing versus another. Consider this when measuring a diverse community. If you have already run your first wellbeing survey, you may be looking for changes in wellbeing levels across multiple sets of results.
Find out more by downloading our complete wellbeing measurement guide - HERE