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2017 School Child Health and Wellbeing Survey

In the Spring and Summer terms of 2017, Bath & North East Somerset Council surveyed their pupils about their health and wellbeing.  The Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire (HRBQ) was used to ask pupils questions about a range of health issues including healthy eating, physical activity, substance use, sexual health and mental health. 36 out of 54 primary and 14 out of 16 secondary schools (including 2 studio schools) took part.  The survey provides a window into the lives of children and young people in B&NES and is used by individual schools and the local authority to inform planning to improve children and young people’s health and well-being. A summary of the results can found here.

2015 Secondary School Child Health and Wellbeing Survey

Key Facts from the 2015 Secondary School Child Health and Wellbeing Survey

Emotional Wellbeing

  • Girls reported being less satisfied with their life than boys.
  • Aspirations appeared to be high, but less than half of Free Sschool Meal Ever 6 pupils expected to take five or more GCSEs.
  • Around one in four girls said they had been bullied in the last 12 months, and one in six boys.
  • About half of girls and a quarter of boys said they would like to change lots of things about themselves.
  • Girls appeared to have a greater level of anxiety and worries compared to boys.
  • Almost half of girls, and over a quarter of boys in Year 10, said they found it hard to concentrate at school due to feeling tired or sleepy.
Health and Body Image
  • Nearly two-thirds of girls wanted to lose weight (although it would appear that not this many need to).
  • Pupils in B&NES appeared to have a healthier diet than nationally, and this seems to be improving.
  • Many more pupils were skipping breakfast compared to results in 2013 and 2011, especially girls.
  • The level of physical activity was high, but there appears to have been a recent decline in more intensive physical activity.
Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs
  • Year on year drinking is going down, both nationally and locally.
  • More young people in B&NES appear to be drinking alcohol compared to national.
  • The vast majority of pupils, locally and nationally, had never smoked; and this proportion has been increasing.
  • 1 in 9 (11%) Year 10 pupils said they currently smoked, and 1 in 12 (8%) were regular smokers.
  • Free School Meal Ever 6 pupils were more than twice as likely to be exposed to passive smoking than non-Free School Meal Ever 6 pupils.
  • 15% of B&NES Year 8 and 10 pupils said they had been offered illegal drugs or NPS (‘legal’ highs), and 9% said they had taken them, this was lower than national.
Sexual Health 
  • 18% of Year 10 pupils said that they had had sex, but the proportion was significantly higher amongst Free School Meal Ever 6 pupils.
  • Less than half of pupils knew where they could get condoms free of charge, and the proportion had decreased since 2013.
  • There appeared to be a lack of knowledge about the prevention of STIs amongst pupils in B&NES.
  • The vast majority of pupils (84%) said they went to a professional for information about sexual health and contraception.

What the survey is...

The Secondary School Wellbeing Survey is carried out alongside a Primary School Wellbeing Survey every two years. These surveys have been carried out in 2011, 2013 and 2015. They have been developed by Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES), in partnership with the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU). The Secondary School survey asks B&NES pupils in Year 8 (12 and 13 years old) and Year 10 10 (14 and 15 years old) about a wide range of issues, such as life satisfaction, worries, eating behaviours and smoking, alcohol and drug use. The purpose of the survey is to acquire data that can be used to inform decisions, at both a local authority and school level, to improve the wellbeing of pupils in B&NES. It is also used in the classroom as the stimulus for discussion with young people. Data from the 2015 Secondary School Health & Wellbeing Survey can be particularly useful when considered in conjunction with the following:

  • results of previous B&NES CYP Health & Wellbeing surveys, particularly 2011 and 2013;
  • results of similar school surveys carried out by SHEU across the country;
  • findings from the 2015 Good Childhood Report (Children’s Society); and
  • findings from the 2014 Smoking, Drinking and Drug use among young people in England report (Health and Social Care Information Centre [HSCIC]).

What the survey is not…

The survey is undoubtedly extremely valuable in helping to understand the issues that affect the health and wellbeing of young people locally. However, it has its limitations and it is important to bear these in mind when interpreting the results.

Firstly, the survey is not statistically representative of all Year 4, Year 6, Year 8 and Year 10 pupils as not all schools participated, nor was a random sample selected.

The pupils that completed the survey were those in schools that choose to participate and who were present on the day of the survey. Therefore, it excluded pupils that were not in school on the day of the survey due to illness or exclusion, and in a small number of schools, those that were not able do the survey due to restricted access to computers.

Due to the fact the survey was for school pupils in Year 4, Year 6, Year 8 and Year 10 in B&NES, it excluded children resident in B&NES who go to schools outside B&NES. Therefore, the survey included some children not resident in B&NES.

The survey was designed as an anonymous survey. Names and other personal identifiable information were not collected. Therefore, pupils cannot be identified. Furthermore, due to safeguarding and ethical issues the survey was unable to ask very sensitive personal questions.

The 2015 Secondary School Child Health and Wellbeing Survey 



The results of the 2015 Secondary School Child Health and Wellbeing Survey are outlined in the Themed Summary Reports below: