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The Department for Education has significant experience in the development, testing and full-scale population implementation of wellbeing measures, and sound experience in international data collection and educational measurement.
Our approach to the measurement of wellbeing recognises that whilst the evidence on happiness and wellbeing is compelling, the science of measurement in this area remains young. Our experience suggests that while taking off the shelf products is sometimes appealing, they seldom provide the outputs required by schools, school systems and policymakers to design interventions and policies that lead to change. Tools that are not contextualised to local and cultural contexts and are not linked to individual students educational and demographic data often do not provide information that can lead to viable action and policy development.
Our approach is to ensure that we have the best scientifically validated tools and reporting products that are relevant to the social and educational context. To this end, we will work with you to ensure that the tool and framework is contextualised to local requirements.
Each year, the Department for Education collects student wellbeing information across schools in South Australia with almost 95% of eligible schools (470 schools) participating in the most recent Census in 2017.
To date, almost 250,000 students have participated in the Wellbeing and Engagement Census. As a result, the Department for Education has continuously improved its online data collection systems and enhanced its reporting to schools, school systems and at a state and national level, both within Australia and internationally. Furthermore, the Department has worked closely with schooling systems and sub-populations to provide detailed analyses of students’ wellbeing and encourage and facilitate schools to take action to improve student wellbeing.
The department has been contracted by the Dubai government’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority to engage in a collaborative approach to implement a framework and measurement capability to monitor the wellbeing of Dubai’s children for the next five years.This has involved the cultural adaptation of the wellbeing and engagement measure used in Australia, a trial with Emirati and non-Emirati students, the collaborative design of school reporting products and the rollout of the Census at scale to 70,000 students in Dubai. Data collection for both the trial and the full rollout have been run from Australia.
As a government agency, we manage large-scale data holdings for both government and non-government schools across South Australia. This is undertaken within a strict data security environment. Data is stored within a DMZx environment.
The Information Privacy Principles (PDF 235KB) apply to the South Australian public education system to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of individuals. All systems and processes used by the department meet the requirements of state and federal privacy legislation to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of individuals.
In addition, we have considerable experience in generating researchable data sets that have resulted in the development of research papers.
More information is available on request.