The survey of wellbeing and student engagement was previously known as Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI).
The survey of wellbeing and student engagement collects information from students in years 6 to 9 about non-academic factors relevant to learning and participation.
The survey gives schools, the community and government an insight into what needs to occur to ensure students experience success and are provided with resources and opportunities to reach their full potential.
The survey asks young people about how they think and feel about their experiences both inside and outside of school. The survey includes 70 questions related to areas of development linked to wellbeing, health and academic achievement.
- Social and emotional wellbeing
- Physical health, lifestyle and after school activities
- School relationships and engagement
The factsheet (PDF 356KB) contains further information for schools and parents.
The survey of wellbeing and student engagement includes items from the Middle Years Development Instrument which was developed by the University of British Columbia and was trialled in Australia in 2013, with more than 6000 students from South Australia and Victoria taking part.
In 2015, over 29,000 students completed the survey from across 368 schools.
It is not compulsory to participate in the survey.
If a school decides to participate in the survey, students complete the survey on a voluntary basis. Parents or caregivers can also withdraw a student if they choose.
Parents who do not want their child taking part in the survey can get their child’s name removed from the participant list by speaking to their teacher.
Teachers can explain the survey to parents with poor reading skills to gain consent for participation.
Participating schools should provide parents with a letter containing information about the survey.
Completing the survey
The survey is undertaken at participating schools during school hours and takes about 40 minutes to complete. In the majority of schools, the survey is completed online.
Students complete the survey in the presence of their teacher/survey administrator. Teachers are responsible for identifying any students who may have learning difficulties or not have a sufficient level of English to participate in the survey.
Survey administration for teachers
- Seek approval before allowing students to complete the survey by sending a letter to all parents in advance with the option of opting out.
- Read instructions on administering the survey to students, emailed to the school’s survey administrator by the department before the survey period.
- Read all resources sent by the department, which contain detailed information on conducting the survey.
Schools, classrooms or students are not compared. Participating schools will receive a report based on student findings, but students are not identified.
See the sample school report (PDF 955KB) for an example of how the survey results will be presented.
Phone: 8226 0452
Email: decd.mdi [at] sa.gov.au