What can a teacher expect from their class of young people?

Dr David Regis, SHEU's Research Manager, examined some data from the report "Young People into 2012",

"In a mixed class of 30 Year 6 pupils, made up of the same sorts of youngsters who comprised the sample for our Young People into 2012, a teacher can expect to be looking at 8 pupils who had 5 portions of fruit and veg to eat yesterday but 2 who had none. Probably none will be current smokers, maybe one will have experimented with cigarettes. Three or four will be fairly sure that they know someone personally who uses drugs. 10 will have spent their own money on sweets or chocolate last week. 24 will at least sometimes play physically active games during breaktimes. All but four or five will have brushed their teeth at least twice yesterday."

"Meanwhile, up the road in a secondary school classroom, a colleague, teaching a mixed Year 10 group who also match our sample, can expect to be looking at 5 pupils who had 5 portions of fruit and veg to eat yesterday but four who had none; in the class will be 4 girls (out of 15) who had nothing to eat for breakfast that day. 5 of all 30 pupils will have had an alcoholic drink last week and 4 or 5 might be current smokers; 3 will have smoked cannabis at least once in their lives. 19 will be living with both parents; three will think there are no adults they can trust. Maybe 20 will have had 8 or more hours' sleep last night."

"In the same Year 10 class, there's about an even chance that one will have very low self-esteem while the self-esteem of 12 will be buoyant; two will usually feel very uneasy meeting people their own age for the first time while more than 2/3 of the class will be quite sanguine about it. One will feel not at all happy with their life. 21 will enjoy sport and physical activities at least 'quite a lot', but one or two will enjoy them 'not at all'. Four or five will have a current paid term-time job. Only a third of them will understand what Chlamydia is and whether or not it can be cured, while 18 will know of a local young people's sexual health service. 6 will have been bullied at school in the last year."


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Comments about SHEU

I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed your talk at last week's conference.

Chief Executive, substance use charity

"The data for (us) are very useful ... This is especially important when evaluating the impact of interventions regarding alcohol or other areas, as the survey data are likely to provide an earlier indication than routine data sources."

Specialist Registrar in Public Health

"I would like to say that this survey was very useful and made me realise things about PE and health that I had never realised before......Food at school is groovy, especially if your school does Jamie Olivers School Dinners. Viva apples and thanks for the survey." Female pupil, 13 yrs old

Female pupil, 13yrs

"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

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

 “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

...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

"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

"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

"Many thanks for all of the fantastic information that you have sent to me over the years, it has really helped me to plan relevant courses for my students to follow and to help me to focus on the needs of the students I teach."

PSHE teacher