Wellbeing of secondary school students

The Department of Education has a strong focus on supporting secondary school students’ wellbeing. However, it is difficult to assess how well the department is progressing as it is yet to measure or report on the outcomes of this work at a whole-of-state level, according to a report released today by the Acting Auditor-General for New South Wales, Ian Goodwin.

Individual schools do include wellbeing measures in their annual reports but the quality of the measures vary. 

The department’s wellbeing initiatives are supported by research and consultation and are mostly well targeted and schools are demonstrating a variety of approaches to meet their local and student needs.  

There is evidence of schools being overburdened by the number of tools and online systems for information collection and there is some duplication in reporting. Schools need a clearer picture on how the various resources best fit together to meet their student needs. The department also needs to consolidate the various policies and guidance for student wellbeing, build on existing systems and clarify the roles of the various people involved in supporting wellbeing.

Counselling and psychology resources could be better targeted by making some changes to how these resources are allocated to schools, particularly for schools with growing enrolments or high needs. 

Further information

Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General, on 0403 073 664 and email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au.