PUPILS in Wiltshire will soon be encouraged to fill in a survey designed to collect data on their emotional wellbeing needs.
This comes after the success of a previous survey which gathered information on issues affecting young people in the county, such as mental health, diet and drug use.
The latest Children and Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Survey was carried out in 2021.
It was completed by 7,499 pupils and revealed extensive statistics concerning the emotions and lifestyles of young people in Wiltshire.
For example, it found that 35% of secondary school children worried about attending school and 23% of Year 12/FE pupils reported getting drunk weekly or daily.
It also showed that 28% of primary school pupils said they could not sleep due to worry, weekly or most nights.
In September 2023, schools and partners working with children, young people and families were asked to complete a questionnaire to indicate how they used the results of the 2021 survey.
The outcome of this questionnaire was discussed in the Children’s Select Committee meeting last month.
It showed that the majority of school staff had found the information useful to develop pastoral support.
One school reported, “From our Wiltshire Children and Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Survey 2020 and 2021, the children in our school felt that they needed more support in making healthy food choices.
“They also responded that they regularly ate less healthy food choices such as crisps and chocolate – a percentage that was much higher than the Wiltshire average.”
Multiple primary schools in Wiltshire were able to provide concrete examples of positive changes that had occurred since using the results of the survey.
These included actions such as interventions to increase activity and to introduce mindfulness strategies.
Councillors were told that, as a result of this, the benefit of gathering more regular data on the emotional wellbeing needs of children and young people had been recognised.
Therefore, a new Wiltshire Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Survey will be carried out in 2024.
Public health strategist, Sally Johnson said, “We’ll have information coming through on emotional wellbeing every two years because that will also sit within the larger survey.
“That will enable us to monitor trends more regularly for emotional wellbeing, which I think we’d all agree, is so pertinent to every other aspect of a child’s wellbeing and life.”
The survey will be available for pupils to complete between Monday 19th February and Wednesday 20th March.