New project to understand and improve wellbeing of school pupils
Experts from The University of Manchester are set to work with leaders from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and all of the city region's secondary schools on a major new project that will survey children about their wellbeing and preparedness for life beyond school, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This pioneering project will ask pupils about aspects of their lives that influence their wellbeing and will provide valuable insights and information for school leaders, charities, businesses and other local actors, and policy-makers to provide appropriate support services and make immediate improvements. The project will be led by the Manchester Institute of Education at The University of Manchester, in partnership with the Anna Freud Centre, a world-leading mental health charity for children and families.
The Programme, which will gather data from tens of thousands of young people, will deliver aggregated, anonymised feedback to schools in an accessible format through a ‘dynamic online data dashboard’, which will enable teachers and leaders to use it as part of a continuous cycle of improvement. Participating schools will also be supported by the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) to use the feedback to plan and evaluate their provision (for example, identifying vulnerable groups and implementing evidence-based interventions to support them).
In addition, the project leaders will use the data gathered to provide evidence briefings for key stakeholders to inform further local and national government support for young people's wellbeing. This is a key policy priority for the GMCA, who have been undertaking a Life Readiness survey with Year 10 pupils for several years, which will be integrated into this project when it begins.
Over the coming months, the project team will work with teachers and young people, as well as Local Authorities, local businesses, academics, charities, the GM Health and Social Care Partnership and many others, to get their input on the design of the Programme. After Easter, secondary schools across the GM city-region will be approached to participate, and the first wave of survey data will then be collected from pupils in Years 8 and 10 in the autumn.