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

"Over the last twenty years you have achieved much. The surveys and subsequent reports have painted the clearest picture we have of what young people are doing and what they think." OFSTED 1998


I think the HRBQ is an absolutely wonderful, informative tool and I am keen to really encourage schools/other relevant partners (as appropriate) to utilise this invaluable data to encourage voice of the child, and subsequently contribute to shaping priorities and services.

Senior Health Improvement Practitioner (Children and Young People)

 “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

"The Unit has a unique historical and contemporary archive of young people." Prof. Ted Wragg 1938-2005

Prof Ted Wragg, 1938-2005

"On behalf of all the health promoters in Scotland I would like to say a big thank to you and your colleagues for your excellent work over the years. This includes not only your survey work but your role as a visiting examiner in Scotland and adviser on course development."
Tribute from a Health Commissioner to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Health Commissioner

"The credit goes to you for the fabulous information the survey yields!"

Assistant Director Schools and SEN

"...the most comprehensive health education survey."

Daily Telegraph

"This is an excellent way of keeping up to date belt and braces style."

School Drugs Advisor

"You have made a truly significant contribution to health education and health promotion of young people in, not only England, but all over the United Kingdom and beyond." Colleague from NHS Scotland paying tribute to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

NHS Scotland

"We are planning next year's programmes around this information." Health Education Adviser

Health Education Adviser