This year’s report, conducted by The Children’s Society in partnership with the University of York, has found a decrease of children’s happiness in the UK and has questioned the role school life can play in this.
Their study of wellbeing is based on children’s own subjective definitions, including psychological factors as well as satisfaction with life in general and in specific areas such as family, friends, school. This ongoing study formulated the Good Childhood Index to denote happiness in different areas of life across a scale.
Findings from this show a difference between boys and girls in their happiness across different aspects of life. Appearance is an ongoing factor of unhappiness for girls, and friends are a lesser source of happiness for boys. Recommendations to address these problems include a whole school approach with reference to specific problems for identified groups of pupils.
The report also explores “different measures of well-being and mental ill-health to see how these relate to behaviours such as self-harm, truancy and physical activity”. From these findings, The Children’s Society recommends implementing measures of wellbeing in schools to identify pupils who may be in need of support, with pupil self reporting recommended as the standard practice. (See http://wellbeingcompass.co.uk for our solution to this.)
“Society today, and the Education system in particular, appear to be breeding a large degree of despair in the next generation. Poor physical and mental health are damaging young lives as never before.Exam stress at school, bullying – including online,, self-harming, eating disorders and rising suicide levels all point to a society that is failing its children. Project HERO, delivered by Evolve a multi award winning social enterprise, tries to provide an upstream, preventative intervention in schools. Evolve Health Mentors provide children with a lifeline, through building trusted relationships with a positive role model – something missing in so many young lives. Independent research from Leeds Beckett University and LKMco strongly suggest that this innovative holistic programme is working.”
– Graham Morgan, Evolve Director and Chairman
To read the full report, click here.