JSNA - the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

SHEU : nationally-recognised, since 1977,
as the specialist provider of reliable local survey data about young people's health and wellbeing

Get the perception and performance figures you need from SHEU

Since the establishment of the JSNA, SHEU have been providing local authorities with vital data about their young people to inform their planning.

The Coalition Government has placed the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment at the heart of its proposals with regard to the future of local health improvement.

The SHEU's Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire (HRBQ) is used across the UK in primary and secondary schools and recent comments highlight its value:


“As I am sure you have picked up from other authorities the HRBQ is a fantastic data source for the JSNA which now has such a more significant profile than it has in the past.”

Lead Adviser Health and Wellbeing


"The survey reports have been used to inform commissioning at specific commissioning groups. They are also being used within our Extended Schools Clusters and to inform The Annual Public Health and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment."

Programme Manager - Young People

In recent years many authorities have used the Tellus survey and SHEU survey data in their JSNA. Since the demise of Tellus, SHEU are the only specialist school survey provider who have, since 1977, demonstrated the value of their local data to authorities as seen through repeat business:


"We're very happy to commission another survey from you. During our last LA Inspection, we were flagged from our Tellus data as having a bullying problem. We could demonstrate with our SHEU data - which had a much better sample size and coverage of the authority - that we did not have the problem they suggested. The Inspectors went away happy and we are definitely surveying again with SHEU."

Local Authority Senior Adviser

We have established questionnaires with items covering a wide range of topics which can be customised to suit your local population.  We can also write up your figures in reports suitable for professional colleagues and/or for public dissemination (sample pages below).

Wakefield 2013Image    Image Image    Image


To discover how SHEU data can inform your JSNA please contact Angela Balding

Versions can be customised for special schools and PRUs, for paper or online completion, and for any commonly used language.

Follow this link for comments from SHEU survey users

Some more thoughts about JSNA from clients and some more information available from client websites:

"Perception measures can complement performance data to give a comprehensive view of an area and the (young) people residing there. It is important to monitor (their) perceptions to obtain an indication of people’s thoughts and opinions on local issues that may not necessarily be visible from performance data alone."


“… it is important also to collect specific local information on various aspects of young people’s behaviour… SHEU (also) carries out similar surveys in a large number of areas across England each year using standard questions. Thus responses from local pupils can be compared to the average response across England in any given year”… “All responses are anonymous and completed questionnaires are sent directly to Exeter for analysis. Aggregate results are sent to participating schools and to NHS (name). In this way, findings can influence health policy and strategy at both school and district level.”


The questionnaire is implemented among pupils across a range of ages. This allows health service commissioners and health professionals such as school nurses to consider how both healthy and unhealthy behaviours emerge as children develop through adolescence and into adulthood. Comparison of findings with national average figures also allows consideration of whether different behaviours are contributing to observed health inequalities.”



Authorities value their SHEU data and here are some links to authorities that have used SHEU results in their JSNA:

Bath & NE Somerset (from webpage)

Wakefield 2013

East Sussex (from webpage)

Ealing 2012 (see chp.16 page 20)

Blackpool (from webpage)

Essex (from webpage)

Lewisham (from webpage)

Gateshead 2011/12 (see page 7)

Bristol 2012 (see page 9)

Sunderland 2011 (see page 144)

Worcestershire 2008/09 (see page 41)

North Lancashire 2010 (Powerpoint)

South Tyneside 2011 (see page 52)

Cambridgeshire 2010 (see page 27)

Cambridgeshire 2013 (from webpage)

Cumbria 2010 (see page 21)

Derbyshire 2009 (see page 29)

Haringey (from webpage)

Swindon 2009/10 (see page 108)

Solihull 2009/10 (see page 62)




Comments about SHEU

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your work regarding writing and compiling the sex education survey. The survey was well executed and the schools have found their individual reports very helpful. The results of the survey have enabled the Local Campaign Group to justify the need for young men's campaigns and given us invaluable insight as to the thoughts and experiences of this target group."

Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Manager

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


 “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 data from last time were spot-on and we have done lots of work with it. We are very keen to repeat the survey." Headteacher


"Many thanks to SHEU for your excellent professional support over the years."

PSHE teacher

"We're very happy to commission another survey from you. Our colleagues in School Improvement are dead keen to work with us on this. During our last LA Inspection, we were flagged from our Tellus data as having a bullying problem. We could demonstrate with our SHEU data - which had a much better sample size and coverage of the authority - that we did not have the problem they suggested. The Inspectors went away happy and we are definitely surveying again with SHEU."

Local Authority Senior Adviser

"This week I have been working on a major strategy for service design -- it is easy to get solely focussed on hospitals, performance targets, and work force planning -- all very important; but at the same the needs of young people and how we need to work across agencies to address the health needs of today and tomorrow must be recognised. SHEU is founded to do just this."

PCT Performance Manager

"I would like to say how much we appreciated the work you and your team have put in to this project, a big thank you for the excellent reports that you have completed on our behalf." Assistant Director of Public Health

Assistant Director of Public Health

"The Health Related Behaviour Survey is an incredibly useful resource for (us) as it provides schools, with invaluable data which can inform curriculum content, methods of lesson delivery and empower schools to better meet the needs of their pupils."

Health Education Advisor