Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean said today’s release of data from the Department of Education 2019 Student Wellbeing Survey provides a new and important insight into how Tasmanian children and young people in Government schools are feeling.
“The data has been gathered across a range of indicators associated with the general wellbeing of Tasmanian children and young people,” Ms McLean said. “The data shows that many Tasmanian children and young people are feeling healthy, happy, and connected which is excellent news.
“But it also shows where services can be targeted to better support children and young people to succeed, including in relation to their resilience, sense of optimism about their future and their engagement in learning.”
Ms McLean said actually asking children and young people questions about how they are going is integral to informing how we can best support our students to have a good life.
“It also demonstrates to our children and young people that we, as a community, care about their wellbeing.
“Surveying almost 30,000 students across government schools certainly provides an excellent insight into the subjective wellbeing of around one quarter of all Tasmania’s children and young people – but it is only part of the story.
“This data needs to be combined with a range of other important indicators of wellbeing, including health and educational outcomes, to gain a comprehensive picture of wellbeing across all age groups.”
Ms McLean said it was also important to acknowledge that the foundations of wellbeing are laid down in the very early years of a child’s life and are sustained by nurturing and enabling environments during childhood and adolescence.
“The Department of Education is to be applauded for facilitating this new set of data – providing the right services and supports to promote the wellbeing of our children and young people.
“But monitoring outcomes is a whole-of-government and community responsibility – not just the responsibility of the Department of Education.”
Ms McLean said this is the first time a survey of this size and scope has been undertaken in Tasmania.
“I commend the Government and Department of Education for commissioning this work and for their focus on understanding the wellbeing of students in Government schools.
“I certainly look forward to seeing how this data is used to target support to students, and to seeing how this affects students’ views of their own wellbeing over time.”