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

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

Health Education Adviser

Any comments on specific survey questions that may have caused difficulty?
Pupils at our primary school found the questionnaire very easy to understand and most of them completed the questions in less than 45min.


...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

"Many thanks for a major contribution to the health of children in the UK and elsewhere over many years and putting in place the continuation of the Unit." Tribute from a Director of Public Health to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Director of Public Health

"We were talking about (the SHEU survey) data at our recent NSCoPSE Conference, for PSHE advisers and consultants. It would be really helpful if some of this powerful data and the trends could be shared in the consultation around the PSHE Review. Colleagues shared their very positive experiences of (the SHEU survey). It provides excellent evidence of behaviour change for children and young people and of the impact of PSHE and wider interventions."

Personal and Social Development Consultant

"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." Tribute from OFSTED to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005


"Thank you from my staff to you and all your staff. The speed of 'turn-around' of the questionnaires is outstanding in anyone's terms." Headteacher


"You and the team have the evidence to show how young people's behaviour has or hasn't changed over time." 
Tribute from a Health Education Co-ordinator to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Health Education Co-ordinator

"You have made a fantastic contribution to children’s health education and promotion. I am personally grateful to you for helping to kickstart my research career." Prof. Neil Armstrong tribute to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Prof Neil Armstrong

Thank you for following up with schools the comments that caused concern. It is very sad to hear that some of our children have these thoughts and feelings and I am so grateful that you were able to make the schools aware of this so that they can attempt to offer some support.

This is another reason why I am so pleased that we have been able to work with you to offer this survey.

Health and Wellbeing Adviser