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Could student wellbeing be linked to academic achievement?

Student wellbeing certainly isn’t a new concept and there are some great examples from schools who were focusing on it far before the pandemic hit. It is worth noting though at this point that the term ‘wellbeing’ can have different meanings and definitions. Some people use wellbeing as a term for general happiness, others as a term encompassing physical and mental health, but what we can all agree on its importance.

The significance of student wellbeing

This is not just about following the trend of the moment. Student wellbeing is fundamentally important. Low levels of wellbeing and associated mental health problems can have adverse consequences for the health and development of young people. They are usually the precursor to difficulties in adulthood, and are strongly connected with poverty, disadvantage and deprivation, both as causes and as outcomes. Past experiences, attitudes and outlook can all impact wellbeing as can physical or emotional trauma.

On the contrary, students who are happy and healthy tend to be more successful in developing:

· concentration, motivation and energy levels

· coping skills for life to help overcome difficulties

· better relationships with others

· they are more likely to continue with and be successful in their academic studies.

Employers also value soft skills such as emotional resilience, adaptability, and lateral thinking, making it even more important that schools focus on developing these skills in order to support their students’ academic, personal and future professional successes.

What are the results?

The impact study found strong evidence to suggest that whole-school approaches to promoting wellbeing can have a positive effect on academic attainment as well as other educational outcomes including:

· mental health

· self-esteem

· self-efficacy

· motivation

· behaviour

· decreased probability of dropout.


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