Pupil Perceptions: Improving access and engagement in education through data-informed well-being and mental health interventions

By David Williams, Director of Inclusion, The Park Academies Trust
The Park Academies Trust
Credit: Open Innovations

The Pupil Perceptions survey is a diagnostic tool designed to help schools understand more about their pupils' 'Readiness for Learning'. The main component is a simple, user friendly questionnaire, completed online in 15-25 minutes, which provides a snapshot of students' own views of their well-being. It provides detailed insights into the mental health of students and the anxieties, well-being issues, and safeguarding concerns that might be affecting learning on an individual basis, but also more broadly for cohorts, schools, and groups of schools.

The system then determines each student's 'Readiness for Learning' (RfL) by calculating a single aggregated score from each student's responses. This provides an overall indication of their well-being and preparedness for academic progress based on their experiences and opinions. RfL is designed to be a quick way to identify pupils who may require intervention, but it can also be used to track progress over time and to look at whole cohort/school datasets. By comparing the RfL indices of different groups of pupils (by gender, ethnic group, attendance level, disadvantaged status, children in care and those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), schools can build up a detailed picture of well-being amongst vulnerable groups, and also determine more specifically which areas of their lives involve barriers to academic progress, the particular problems that they face, and how targeted interventions could help. 

At The Park Academies Trust, we have used Pupil Perceptions across our primary and secondary schools to screen all students' views of their own mental health and well-being. This has enabled us to tailor the curriculum from Reception to Post-16 according to particular needs that have arisen in the community, as well as targeting specific interventions for students in a timely and informed way.

Taking this snapshot each year, we are able to track individual progress and look at the ongoing impact of pastoral interventions in a meaningful and nuanced way.

If you are interested in this work, then we welcome you to get in touch with David on williamsd@theparkacademiestrust.

David Williams

Director of Inclusion

The Park Academies Trust

Our next #OpenDataSavesLives event will be on the theme of Open Data in Health on the 8th June at 12pm. Come and join us to hear more about the David's work at The Park Academies Trust. As always, events are free and open to all - we hope to see you there.