School surveys

School questionnaires gather feedback from parents, pupils and staff.


The reports from the NFER General School Surveys for pupils contain wellbeing measures developed by NFER. There are two wellbeing measures:

  • School wellbeing measure
  • Emotional wellbeing measure

School wellbeing measures pupils’ perspectives on the overall values and ethos of their school. The values the school instils into their pupils include behaving well, working hard, helping others, and keeping fit and healthy. The ethos the school creates for the pupils includes fairness, friendliness, and confidence-building.

Emotional wellbeing measures pupils’ happiness, and is based on questions exploring, for example, how they feel about how they look and whether they like the way they are. It measures their feelings (sadness, happiness, loneliness, etc) and how well they feel they get on with others.

The wellbeing measures were developed in response to the initiative launched by the Office of National Statistics in 2010 to measure the Nation’s wellbeing; they focus on the happiness of children and their life in school.

The General Pupil Surveys include these wellbeing measures for your school compared to the results from all the other schools who have taken part in these surveys (weighted to be nationally representative).  Your report includes a chart showing ‘Your school’ against ‘All schools’. School wellbeing measures range from ‘acceptable’ to ‘inspirational’ and emotional wellbeing measures range from ‘unhappy’ to ‘very happy’.

From measurement to action

You can use your wellbeing results as part of a three-step improvement process:

  1. Establish your current situation. What do your survey results tell you about what is going well and where there is room for improvement?
  2. Plan and implement a response.
  3. Evaluate progress. Track your wellbeing measures over time to see improvements.

Also see

Our articles on wellbeing in Headteacher Update and Seced may provide further useful information:


In pursuit of happiness
January 2014, Headteacher Update
Happiness is a fairly nebulous concept, but with the right support it can be measured to provide insights into the wellbeing of your school. We consider how this can be achieved.
Download as a PDF file  


    In the pursuit of happiness 
January 2014, SecEd
How can monitoring and supporting the ‘emotional’ and ‘school’ wellbeing of your students and the engagement of your staff lead to a real impact on outcomes?
Download the article 

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