Insights from the HeadStart Evaluation

During the Autumn Term 2017, as part of the national evaluation of HeadStart from The Big Lottery Fund across all six regions nationally, young people in Year 7 and Year 9 in our HeadStart Secondary Schools were surveyed using a range of metrics to evaluate their emotional well-being. Alongside the Wolverhampton data from this national evaluation, our partners at The University of Wolverhampton were surveying young people in Year 6 and Year 7 for a wider local evaluation.

Here are some of the insights from these evaluations:

National data across all six national partnerships:

  • About 1 in 5 young people experience emotional problems
  • About 1 in 5 young people experience behavioural problems
  • Girls are more likely to experience emotional problems
  • Boys are more likely to experience behavioural problems
  • Young people in Year 9 are more likely to report mental health issues than those in Year 7
  • Young people with special educational needs report lower wellbeing than young people without those needs

Wolverhampton specific data

  • The wellbeing scores for HeadStart Wolverhampton secondary school are relatively similar to one another. None of our HeadStart secondary schools have either notably β€˜happier’ student populations with much higher reported wellbeing ... or worryingly 'unhappier' populations
  • However, some schools do score consistently higher across local evaluation scales reported for young people early in Year 7 ... are they and their feeder primaries doing anything different?
  • However, the single biggest takeaway from the survey analysis are the reported differences in wellbeing in boys vs. girls in different year groups

In measures of wellbeing, in secondary schools in Wolverhampton working with HeadStartbased on the self-reported data of the surveys:

  • Year 7 girls score more positively than Year 7 boys
  • ... but Year 9 girls score more negatively than Year 9 boys
  • Year 9 girls have more issues with focus and attention than Year 7 girls
  • Year 9 girls have more issues with managing their emotions than Year 7 girls
  • Year 9 girls have more issues with behaviour than Year 7 girls
  • While Year 7 girls report fewer difficulties with managing emotions than Year 7 boys, Year 9 girls report greater difficulties than Year 9 boys
  • Year 7 and Year 9 girls are more stressed than the boys in their respective years
  • While Year 9 boys still have more behavioural issues than Year 9 girls, the 'gap' is much smaller than for Year 7 boys vs. girls.