Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Monitoring Well-being in Schools
According to the BBC News today, there are plans afoot to make UK schools monitor children's well-being, as well as their exam results.
On closer inspection of the source report in the Guardian, 18 new social targets are being proposed, among them:
* teenage pregnancy rates
* pupil's drug problems
* criminal records
* obesity levels.
Apparently the move is part of a government attempt to reduce drug use, and the teenage pregnancy rate (ours is the highest in Europe). How setting new targets for schools is going to achieve this I'm not entirely sure. 'What gets measured gets managed' say some business people. OK, but that's a long way away from 'what gets measured gets managed well'.
Incidentally, the above 5 measures are not well-being measures, strictly speaking. The assumption being made by the government (wrongly) is that if you reduce what is negative (ill-being) you automatically increase what is positive (well-being). Personally, I think we'd have far more of a positive effect if we actually focussed on what makes children flourish in the first place.
If you have any views on this, I'd love to hear them.