What you perceive to be the issues your pupils are facing may be very different from what they see. To understand the issues, it is important to regularly gather information about your school community– you may not like everything you hear, but you can’t bring about positive change if you don’t know what you’re up against. Here are some examples of how schools can capture the health and wellbeing information they need to help develop a whole school approach to wellbeing.
Public Health commission the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU) to run a health and wellbeing survey in schools. The survey, which was first run in 2014, has enabled schools to gain invaluable insight into children and young people’s experiences of life, both inside and outside of school. It has also made it possible for Public Health and SCC Children’s Services to find out what young people think about a broad range of health-related issues.
The survey is structured around five key areas that present a full picture of children and young people's perceptions, understanding and behaviour in relation to health, wellbeing and the focus for a whole school approach to mental health:
1. The extent to which pupils feel safe
2. The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles
3. Relationships and emotional wellbeing
4. Citizenship and aspirations
5. The effectiveness of care, guidance and support
This year’s survey started in March 2018 and so far an estimated 12,000 children and young people have taken part from NC Years 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 12. The official closing date for completing the survey, so that data is included in the countywide report, has now closed but we have agreed that any school wishing to take part can still do so and will be sent a report comparing their results to the overall countywide set.
One of the drivers for developing The Somerset Wellbeing Framework has been the recognition of the stress and strain on staff arising from external demands on schools and the increasingly complex problems and challenges students present. Evidence tells us that if we want to improve the wellbeing outcomes for young people we also need to develop mechanisms to support teachers and staff in schools.
SHEU has also been commissioned to run a staff health and wellbeing survey for schools which will be available for all school-based staff to complete during July 2018. This confidential survey will provide school leads with invaluable information about wellbeing needs and a great place to start for future planning towards a whole school approach.
For further details on taking part in either of these surveys please contact: Angela Balding Email: Tel: 01392 - 667272
Public Health have developed an online Wellbeing Audit to help you review your current approach to Emotional and Mental Health, allowing you to identify strengths and areas for development. Schools in Somerset that are engaged in the Somerset Wellbeing Framework will be able to access their own confidential copy of the tool & accompanying action plans.
The audit is based upon the eight principles of the whole school approach, as laid out in the document
’Promoting children’s and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing - a whole school and college approach’ published by Public Health England and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition March 2015.
Schools can consider the descriptors and record how they are currently meeting them. The self-assessed
‘RAG’ (red, amber or green) rating helps to identify which areas need more attention in developing a whole
school approach. Schools can then use the action plan template at the side of the audit to plan ‘next steps’.