The State Government is investing $1.8m towards student wellbeing programs, services and initiatives to support the needs of preschool and primary students at risk of disengagement.
Today’s announcement comes as the Education Department releases its statewide Wellbeing and Engagement Report (PDF 1.2MB) which captures student attitudes towards their experiences in and out of school.
More than 43,000 South Australian students ranging from years 6 to 9 across 500 government and non-government schools took part last year, and the survey is taking place in schools again in term 3.
The $1.8m in funding will go towards 20 partnerships to benefit groups of preschools and schools which have been selected based on having the greatest need for wellbeing support as indicated by the data.
Projects include: staff training to engage students who experience trauma, targeted programs for Aboriginal families to build resilience and encourage student attendance and programs to build self-confidence among students.
The new projects will build on the existing work of preschools and schools to foster positive wellbeing among their children and young people.
The following is a snapshot of what young people have told us:
- 90% had a positive self-concept about school work, indicating they were confident that they could learn what was taught in the classroom.
- Around 25% of students identified having issues with regulating their emotions.
- More than 85% viewed their connection with their school teachers as being strong, indicating they believed staff cared about them, thought they would be successful and listened when they had something to say.
- Approximately 24% of year 6 and 7 students and 30% of year 8 and 9 students reported often being worried about things at home, at school and in general.
- 15% of year 8/9 students did not feel they belonged at school.
- Most young people reported positive views about their body image (93%) and general health (79%).
- Over 80% of primary students and 70% of secondary students reported adequate sleep in a typical week.
- Overall, 11% of students had less than three nights of good sleep a week and also ate breakfast less than three times a week.
The report comes from an 80 item self-report survey which asks students to answer questions about 4 key areas: social and emotional wellbeing, relationships and learning at school, physical health and lifestyle, and after school activities.
Participation is voluntary and schools receive an overall report of wellbeing data specific to their school.
The data collection created by the Education Department has been adopted by the Government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The wellbeing and engagement report (PDF 1.2MB) is available now.