Tailored support and CORC for Schools Membership

In addition to Wellbeing Measurement for Schools, we also offer tailored support to help schools (individually and as clusters) to measure and monitor wellbeing. This could help with identification and support, as well as evaluation and improvement.

Signing up for CORC for Schools membership gives schools access to advice, tools and a programme of training and learning events. We can also offer support on a consultancy basis. Our rates are subsidised for CORC members.

For further information about how CORC can support you, please contact us at corc@annafreud.org or on 020 7443 2225. 

Become a CORC member

Free resources and guidance for schools

Introductory booklet: measuring the mental wellbeing in education

Getting started with measuring children and young people’s mental wellbeing

Schools and colleges are using a broad range of approaches to support the mental wellbeing and resilience of their pupils. Members of staff, however, do not always feel equipped to assess the particular priorities for their populations, to identify those pupils who require more support, or to evaluate whether the approaches they invest in are having the intended impact. We have put together this simple introduction to help schools and colleges develop their thinking and get started on measuring mental wellbeing. This booklet considers:

  • Why measure mental wellbeing?
  • What can be used to measure mental wellbeing?
  • How could it work in practice?
  • Things to consider
  • Useful tools and resources

Access booklet

Using measurement tools to understand pupils' mental health needs

This short guide for schools and colleges provides an excellent overview of how to use measurement tools to understand pupils’ wellbeing so that you can provide them with the support they need. The guide was developed in collaboration between CORC and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and focuses on two main ways of using measurement tools in education settings: 

  1. Using surveys with large groups of pupils (a cohort) to understand their needs.
  2. Using questionnaires with individual pupils to understand their specific needs.

These summaries draw on our Measuring and monitoring children and young people’s mental wellbeing: A toolkit for schools and colleges. We recommend both documents as useful resources for schools and colleges who want to understand the mental wellbeing needs of their pupils.

Download the guide here

How-to guide on measuring wellbeing in schools

Mental Health and Wellbeing Toolkit for Schools

Schools and colleges have an important part to play in the support system of children and young people, and particularly in the promotion of mental wellbeing. Their efforts to promote the physical and mental health of the student population can positively reinforce pupils’ attainment and achievement, improving their wellbeing and enabling them to thrive and achieve their full potential.

The Mental Health Toolkit for Schools has been developed by Public Health England, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and CORC, to support the improvement of health outcomes for children, young people and their families.

The toolkit supports schools and colleges by providing information to staff about the range of validated tools that are available to help measure subjective mental wellbeing amongst the student population. These tools focus on subjective measures of positive wellbeing – for example asking a child or young person about what they are feeling - and can be complemented by other objective measures, such as attendance and attainment, which are collected routinely in schools, helping education professionals to make use of the data collected to identify the mental wellbeing needs of students and determine how best to address these.

Access toolkit

Training video: measuring and monitoring children and young people's mental health

Free training - A 30-minute training video for schools on how to measure wellbeing and evaluate interventions

What is mental wellbeing, why should schools measure it and how do they decide which measures to use? The Anna Freud Learning Network recently filmed CORC Regional Officer Lee Atkins delivering our 'Measuring and Monitoring Children and Young People's Mental Wellbeing' training as part of our on-going support for schools.

To join the Anna Freud Learning Network and keep informed of future trainings and resources:

Please register here

eLearning: measuring mental wellbeing to improve the lives of children and young people

An interactive introduction - just 45 minutes and 6 easy steps to get you started, suitable for non-specialist and school staff who support the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people

The Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC), in partnership with the Anna Freud Learning Network, has developed its first ever online eLearning module.

This eLearning 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. This free interactive short course aims to demystify and simplify the whole process of using outcomes and feedback measures to monitor mental wellbeing and is laid out in six easy to follow parts:

  1. Understanding mental wellbeing
  2. Introduction to outcome measures
  3. The benefits of measuring mental wellbeing
  4. Selecting and using measures
  5. Best practice using measures
  6. Using and interpreting data

Outcome measurement has become a focus of funders, commissioners and policy makers, as a tangible and reliable way in which to assess the welfare of children and young people in the care of wellbeing services and schools. The process can also have important benefits for the children and young people themselves as well as for associated professionals, projects, interventions and services.

This course features engaging activities and quizzes to illustrate how staff can choose and use measures to monitor wellbeing and how to analyse wellbeing information to drive improvement and demonstrate effectiveness.

Download Introductions

Access eLearning module

5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our colleagues at the Anna Freud Centre created 5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework - a simple, free and interactive tool to help schools and colleges develop a whole setting approach, which is based on 5 key areas: Leading Change, Working Together, Understanding Need, Promoting Wellbeing and Supporting Staff. 

Each of the 5 steps includes practical actions that education professionals can take and is supported by evidence based practice, free or low cost resources, and case studies from schools and colleges. Schools and colleges can also create their own bespoke 5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing action planning tool.
To support schools and colleges sufficiently, the framework has been developed by teachers and mental health experts, including the Child Outcomes Research Consortium, who collaborated with the Anna Freud Centre on two of the five steps: 1) Understand Need and 2) Supporting Staff. Thanks to our experience and expertise in measuring children and young people's mental health and wellbeing, we are able to support schools and colleges in better understanding the needs of their pupils and monitor the impact of the support they provide through using specially designed pupil and staff surveys and analysis that can help identify successes and challenges. 

Information on the different outcome and feedback measures and how to access them

A comprehensive hub of information and downloadable measures

The measures and supported information displayed on our website are intended to serve as an easily accessible resource for individuals looking for information on how to measure children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Unless otherwise stated, CORC is not the developer or copyright holder of these measures.

Access our CORC Hub

Learning from the HeadStart programme

Major programme funded by Big Lottery, to trial initiatives for improving resilience in children and young people who may be facing challenges to their emotional wellbeing

HeadStart is a five-year programme set up Big Lottery Fund which aims to improve the mental wellbeing of 10- to 16-year-olds and prevent serious mental health issues before the develop.

Using National Lottery funding, HeadStart Partnerships in Blackpool, Cornwall, Hull, Kent, Newham and Wolverhampton are piloting new approaches to build young people's emotional resilience.

A wide range of interventions are being trialled in schools and the community at each site. School interventions include whole school, year group and class level support, such as education around what mental health is and what to do when experiencing a mental health problem.

Other interventions, such as one-to-one counselling sessions, are for particular groups of young people e.g. those who are at higher risk of developing a mental health problem.

Find out about our work with HeadStart

Spectrum: an online database of measures

An online database of measures, addressing social, psychological, emotional, concepts of self, and resilience domains

There is growing evidence that children’s social and emotional skills – their ability to respond to setbacks, work well with others, build relationships, manage emotions, and cope with difficult situations – are associated with success at school, as well as positive outcomes in adulthood, such as stable employment, physical and mental health, and well-being. However, despite a growing interest in these skills, much less is known about what can be done to develop them.

To help build this evidence, EEF has so far funded over a dozen trials with a focus on social and emotional skills, including under the related concept of ‘character’ with the Department for Education. Alongside EEF’s core focus on academic attainment, this is likely to be an area of our work that grows in future, including approaches that support children to manage their own learning, and a wider set of ‘essential skills’ that prepare children for success in adult life. We aim to evaluate the impact of promising programmes and school-wide approaches on both academic attainment and wider outcomes, and understand which factors support successful implementation in schools.

However, one of the challenges in this field is the considerable debate about how to define and measure various aspects of social and emotional development, as demonstrated by the confusing and contested terminology, and overwhelming number of measures available. To help address this, the University of Manchester completed a systematic review of concepts and measures in this area, building on EEF’s initial review by UCL Institute of Education in 2013.

The review team’s umbrella term for this work was ‘SPECTRUM’: Social, Psychological, Emotional, Concepts of self, and Resilience: Understanding and Measurement. SPECTRUM is a review of how non-academic and essential skills are conceptualised and measured in relation to child and adolescent outcomes.

Access the database

Resources: Mentally Healthy Schools

Brings together hundreds of resources for school staff and parents

A legacy project of the Heads Together campaign, Mentally Healthy Schools brings together quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing, plus advice and guidance developed in conjunction with Place2Be and YoungMinds. The site is free to access and use for schools across England. The aim is to increase staff awareness, knowledge and confidence to help you support your pupils.

Explore the platform now

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