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About the wellbeing and engagement collection

The wellbeing and engagement collection (WEC) is a survey that collects information from students in years 4 to 12 about non-academic factors relevant to learning and participation.

The WEC gives schools, the community and government an insight into what needs to occur to ensure students experience success and are provided with resources and opportunities to reach their full potential.

The survey

The survey asks young people how they think and feel about their experiences, both inside and outside of school. It includes questions related to areas of development linked to wellbeing, health and academic achievement.

In 2022, almost 93,000 students completed the survey from across nearly 500 schools.

Find out about more about the 4 key areas of the survey

Why measure wellbeing video

Why measure wellbeing video transcript

Time

Content

0:01

[music]

0:07

Rikita, Student, Glenunga International High School:

Wellbeing is when you feel in control of yourself emotionally mentally and physically. In a school sense it’s about being productive being able to do what you need to and being able to deliver on your goals.

0:20

Ruby, Student, Marryatville Primary School:

Wellbeing means that you feel healthy that’s mentally and physically.

0:25

James, Student, Marryatville Primary School:

We focus on getting each student to express their feelings if something is bothering them.

0:29 – 0:33

[Text: Measuring wellbeing enables us to hear every students voice]

0:33

Dakota, Student, Munno Para Primary School:

Wellbeing means happiness comfort and safety.

0:38

Chris, Student, Marryatville Primary School:

Wellbeing has a huge positive impact for the school.

0:41

[music]

0:47

Professor Martin Westwell, Chief Executive, SACE Board of South Australia

If you think about what we value in education of course the academic stuff is important but also we’re thinking about how are we developing the wellbeing of our young people. And if we’re going to answer that question then we need to try to measure wellbeing and in doing so what we make sure is that no one gets left behind because we’re really starting to think about all of our students and how all of them are developing. Because what we want to be able to do is to track the growth track the development of wellbeing in our young people to take snapshots of our education system and say well is it really coming out the measures that allow us to focus in and get a sharp view what’s going on and what we might do about that.

1:10 – 1:18

[Text: Measuring wellbeing helps track student growth and development over time]

1:24

Gabrielle Kelly, Director, SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre:

Wellbeing measurement provides to principals in the schools accurate information real-time information about how everyone is doing.

1:32 – 1:41

[Text: Measuring wellbeing helps us to build the skills students need as they go through life]

1:39

Amanda Walsh, Assistant Principal – Wellbeing, Glenunga International High School:

Every school has a responsibility to ensure that students have the opportunity to develop skills around being well beings. It’s not just for while they’re at school its so that they can have the skills to thrive in a very complex world.

1:55

Angela Falkenberg, President, South Australian Primary Principals Association (formerly Principal at Marryatville Primary School)

I guess like any subject how do you know how students are really going unless you measure it and I think the measurement also indicates that we value it.

2:01

[music]

2:03 – 2:08

[Text: Measuring wellbeing matters to parents, teachers, students and governments]

2:03

David Engelhardt, Director, Data, Reporting & Analytics:

Every parent knows every teacher knows that the wellbeing of their children really matter and so we want to make sure that they’ve got a scientific way of measuring wellbeing outcomes for their children and a means of having a conversation that everybody can join in. So we developed a measure that enables children to join with teachers and have a conversation about their wellbeing in their school.

2.25 – 2:28

[Text: Students wellbeing matters around the world]

2:28

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai:

We started this work because for for so many years we’ve been measuring academics and academics only. I think here we are embarking on a journey to actually start measuring happiness and wellbeing and hopefully down the road we can correlate those two datas academic datas and wellbeing data.

2:50

Angela Falkenberg, President, South Australian Primary Principals Association (formerly Principal at Marryatville Primary School)

The aim for me as an educator and a leader is that every child has a flourishing life and so that is not just academic success it’s the ability to stand up for themselves to have positive relationships and to be well connected to others.

3:03

David Engelhardt, Director, Data, Reporting & Analytics:

We want to hear from the voice of every child in every school and we want to make sure that every school’s got data about their children in order to be able to have a conversation about how children are progressing and for children to be able to join in so on that basis every child needs a voice and that’s what we aim to give them.

3:19

[music]

3:21 – 3:25

[Closing credits: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/wellbeing-and-engagement-census]

Participating in the wellbeing and engagement collection

It is not compulsory to participate in the WEC. 

If a school decides to participate, students complete the WEC on a voluntary basis. Parents or caregivers can also withdraw a student if they choose.

Parents who do not want their child taking part can get their child’s name removed from the participant list by contacting their school. 

Schools are provided with an information pack before the WEC opens. This includes a parent letter and a copy of the questions. Parents can ask for a copy of the questions from the school or by emailing education.wecsa@sa.gov.au.

The survey is undertaken during school hours and takes between 25 to 45 minutes to complete.

Results

Schools, classrooms or student results are not compared. Participating schools will receive a report based on student findings, but individual students are not identified.

See the sample school report (PDF 1.8MB) for an example of how the survey results will be presented.

How schools use the Wellbeing Engagement Census data video

How schools use the Wellbeing Engagement Census data video transcript

Time

Content

0:00

[music]

0:10 – 0:15

[Text: How schools engage teaching staff, students and parents with the wellbeing data]

0:16

Angela Falkenberg, President, South Australian Primary Principals Association (formerly Principal at Marryatville Primary School)

In our partnership there are four primary schools and three secondary. We get together as a group of wellbeing focus leaders and we’ve looked at common trends.

0:25

Stephanie Bond, Psychologist, Glenunga International High School

So at Glenunga we use the data in multiple ways. First of all we analyze it within the wellbeing team to determine, number 1 what are the needs, what are students saying that they are requiring of us as a school to be able to support their wellbeing. To analyze it in the sense of what changes are we noticing, what’s improving. We then share that information throughout the school so we share it at leadership level, we share it with students, we share it with Governing Council so that we all have a really clear understanding of what is happening in our school in terms of wellbeing and how we can support young people moving forward.

0:58

Vanessa Wadlow, Teacher, Marryatville Primary School

We share the data with parents so that they can actually see the numbers but also then how we are responding to that as a school and how they can help as parents and as a wider community.

1:10

[music]

1:10 – 1:13

[Text: How schools decide where to focus their effort]

1:15

Anna Lewkowicz, Project Manager, International, Department for Education

Being an education system we’ve linked up students wellbeing results and their academic achievement data to look at how wellbeing may impact on student academic performance and this has really shown some interesting results.

1:27

Belinda Kopania, Principal, Munno Para Primary School

Our wellbeing data actually shows that we are significantly higher in our state with our children finding having an adult here that they can rely on.

1:36

Ryan Hunter, Wellbeing Coordinator, Munno Para Primary School

Yes we’ve been able to target some areas of that school that we needed to work on which is some of our after school activities and our access for our kids to be able to do things after school. It was pretty low compared to the state average so we’ve implemented some after school sports programs and just some additional learning clubs and things like that that we can get started to help kids be involved after school.

1:53

Joe, Student, Glenunga International High School

I’ve been involved in discussing the results through mostly the Student Congress where we gathered up all the student leaders from each year level roughly 100 people.

2:00

Dakota, Student, Munno Para Primary School

We have gone to John Hartley school to find our data that we have taken from the wellbeing survey and we put it together on a poster and we figure out the good things about what’s happening at our school and the not so good things that need improved. So we’ve picked two verbal victimization and school belonging.

2:22

Vanessa Wadlow, Teacher, Marryatville Primary School

I think what’s so great here is that we talk about the data with the students and all of the things that we do in response to the data such as character strength spotting, mindfulness and using the language of grit, that the kids actually go home and share this language with their parents.

2:42

[music]

2:42 – 2:45

[Text: Student voice matters]

2:47

Belinda Kopania, Principal, Munno Para Primary School

The Student Voice students wanted some more artwork across the school and that’s coming from the kids wanting that little bit more from school, knowing they can get that from school and us trying to put in as much as we can with the time that we have with them.

3:01

David Engelhardt, Director, Data, Reporting & Analytics:

The data has been used in lots of ways in schools but ultimately the best way to use that is to begin with the conversation with the young people themselves about what the data means. So generally we advise people to have a discussion, say well what is this data telling us, what does it mean and what can we do to change it. And there are many ways schools have responded to that but by and large it’s that joined up conversation about what’s important to people, what they value and then making some joint decisions about how they want to go ahead and change outcomes.

3:30

[music]

3:32

[Closing credits: http://wellbeingcensus.sa.gov.au]

Explore previous results

You can also download the:

Wellbeing and Engagement Collection Team

Phone: 8226 3884

Emaileducation.wecsa [at] sa.gov.au