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Understanding the links between well-being and progress at school

By Catherine Boulton 1 March 2013

How do different dimensions of well-being impact later educational outcomes? I came across some research published by the Department of Education which starts to answer this question and has the data to prove it.  We were delighted to see some detailed evidence emerging, as the link is intuitively obvious but sometimes difficult to demonstrate.

The report from the Institute of Education and Childhood Well-being Research Centre found that levels of well-being correlated more strongly with levels of attainment in some age groups. For example children with better emotional well-being make more progress in primary school and are more engaged in secondary school. So, if you can show that you are raising children’s emotional well-being (and if you can know in relative terms whether it is above or below average when you first work with a group) you can confidently predict improved progress in their schoolwork.

One of the key findings of the report is that as children move through the school system, emotional and behavioural well-being become more important in explaining school engagement while demographic characteristics become less so. But how you can prove that this well-being is changing? And how can you measure young people’s engagement with school?

NPC’s Well-being Measure is designed to help identify these changes and distinguish between different aspects of well-being, whilst indicating how your group compare in relation to a national baseline.

It is well worth reading the DfE report in detail to discover which dimensions of well-being are relatively more important predictors of later educational outcomes than others. If you want to see where the children you work with sit within these dimensions, then have a look at our tool and start measuring the difference you make www.well-beingmeasure.com.