SHEU in the House, and some hard questions

The echoes of our Autumn report rumble on.

We were asked to give some more detail for the House of Commons magazine (below) in November, and Jo Swinson asked a question about our work in the House of Commons chamber itself:

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will assess the recent research conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit on links between bullying and appearance. [87797]

Mr Gibb: Tackling poor behaviour in all its forms—including bullying—is a top priority for this Government. Schools need to work proactively to identify the driving issues behind prejudice among their pupils and put in place measures to prevent bullying and poor behaviour fuelled by peer pressure, as well as clear processes to respond to bullying when it does occur.

The Schools and Students Health Education Unit's (SHEU) report records statistics such as the number of young people who want to lose weight, who do not eat breakfast, and who eat fewer than five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Although none of these issues are necessarily directly linked to bullying or the fear of being bullied, the research summary says that up to 22% of 10 to 11-year-olds report being picked on for the way they look. No child should feel victimised because of their appearance, or for any other reason, and where bullying occurs, schools must have robust procedures in place to respond to it quickly and effectively.

Jo Swinson MP is chair of an all-party group about body image and is co-founder of a related campaign; see her website for details.

The piece that appeared in the House Magazine is below.  Dr.Dave comments: must be the hardest set of questions I've been asked!

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DrDave

Comments about SHEU

"The Schools Health Education Unit has been a unique inspiration to all of us. For me, as I have worked in the many different areas of the NHS, the SHEU, its principles and your determination have always been a cornerstone in what a health promoting service should be about."
PCT Performance Manager paying tribute to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

PCT Performance Manager

Any comments on specific survey questions that may have caused difficulty? No problems. My children were fully briefed before the survey and they understood that they could miss questions if they did not want to answer them. We did not have any children with any concerns regarding the survey at all.

Any comments on the use of the web site? No it was easy to use.

Any general comments on the exercise? The children really enjoyed completing the survey, It has lead to many positive discussions about our health and how we all have slightly different experiences and home lives.

Class teacher

My school took part in the Health Survey last year and found it incredibly beneficial. It has been an invaluable tool for planning our PSHE/well being provision and actioning our school development plan.

Primary School Wellbeing Lead

 “The (SHEU survey) helped us to prioritise where we needed to be in terms of PSHE education. We delivered assemblies based on the evidence as well as curriculum development, and dealt with whole school issues – particularly in regard to pastoral care. The answers received to the question on the survey “Who are you most likely to approach if you needed help” worried staff as “teacher” was not a popular answer. Subsequently the staff asked themselves why this had happened and what needed to be done to address the issue. There was more emphasis on wider aspects of PSHE education delivery, which needed more attention.

To summarise, the (SHEU survey) allows the PSHE department to assess the impact of teaching and learning and modify future lessons accordingly. It allows our school to look at whole school issues such as the extent to which the pastoral care system is meeting the needs of our pupils. It helps us to do need analysis of our pupils. It helps to provide important evidence for SEF / the extent to which we are meeting wellbeing indicators / National Healthy School standards.”  

Secondary School Head

Any comments on specific survey questions that may have caused difficulty?
All questions are clearly worded and easy to answer

Class teacher

"The children found the survey very interesting and enjoyed doing it." Class Teacher

Class teacher

I would just like to say thank you very much to Angela, yourself and all of the SHEU team for making the [survey] so successful. The survey has been well received and we are using data in new ways to help support work on local Public Health priorities.

Senior Public Health Specialist

...our analyst here in Public Health- is beside himself with excitement about all the juicy data pouring in...he can't wait to get his hands on it!!!!
He is happier than I have seen him for years.

Public Health Principal

"We did this last year with Year 8 and 10 and was incredibly useful. It is WELL worth doing and so useful to inform PSHE planning. The safeguarding audit team were delighted that we had done it. The findings are so so interesting.
"The findings are really comprehensive and range from what percentage of year 8 have breakfast in the morning to how many have tried this particular drug, to identity, health and sleep patterns, mental health, citizenship issues....
"It's essential for the PSHE and pastoral curriculum."

PSHCEE coordinator

I would be extremely interested to see the results as I know how useful this information has been to the other schools in the
borough

Headteacher