A Happiness Test for Four-Year-Olds; Pupils Will Be Given Questionnaires to Monitor Their Mental Health A Happiness Test

Daily Mail (London), June 4, 2007 | Go to article overview

A Happiness Test for Four-Year-Olds; Pupils Will Be Given Questionnaires to Monitor Their Mental Health A Happiness Test


CHILDREN as young as four will take 'happiness tests' as part of a drive to force schools to improve pupils' well-being.

Youngsters will be set questionnaires, similar to the self-help quizzes found in women's magazines, to assess their mental health.

They are likely to be questioned on whether they are feeling optimistic, confident, loved and interested in others.

Once the answers are analysed, heads will be expected to tackle influences 'likely to lead to poor mental health or mental health disorders'.

They will be encouraged to use methods ranging from special programmes to help pupils make the transition to primary or secondary school tosessions as part of day-to-day teaching.

Schools were put under an

Schools were put under an explicit duty to promote the emotional and psychological well-being of pupils by the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

Trendy 'emotional literacy' classes have already been introduced in many schools to teach children to manage anger and jealousy and develop empathy.

The Government's [pounds sterling]20million emotional literacy initiative encourages activities such as 'worry boxes', where pupils write down their anxieties and post them into a box. The well-being assessments are being developed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which has a role in promoting public health.

A document produced by the body reveals how schools' success in keeping their pupils happy will be measured on 'well-being scales'.

These have been developed jointly by Warwick and Edinburgh universities and monitor positive attributes such as confidence, resilience, attentiveness and the ability to form good relationships.

Participants are asked to consider 14 statements, such as 'I am feeling good about myself' or 'I am dealing with problems well', and tick a box disclosing whether it occurs often, rarely, some of the time, all of the time or never. …

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