Using PASS to keep track of pupils' wellbeing

"Good schools play a vital role as promoters of health and wellbeing in the local community and have always had good pastoral systems. They understand well the connections between pupils' physical and mental health, their safety, and their educational achievement."
The Schools White Paper 2010, Department for Education

Assessing students using Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) can help focus your pastoral system on the areas that matter, both in school and outside the school grounds, enabling you to ensure your staff are keeping track of pupils' wellbeing.

Each PASS attitudinal measure can relate to key themes and theories of wellbeing and give a focused insight into the problems for either an individual student or a whole school/class cohort. The following PASS attitudinal measures linked to wellbeing are as follows:

  1. Feelings About School 'School connectedness', risky adult behaviours etc
  2. Perceived Learning Capability Locus of control (the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them), autonomy
  3. Self Regard Self efficacy (a person's belief in their own competence) and links to theories of mastery learning (an instructional method that presumes all children can learn if they are provided with the appropriate learning conditions).
  4. Preparedness For Learning Links to behavioural difficulties
  5. Attitudes To Teachers Variety of links to emotional well-being, social integration etc 
  6. General Work Ethic Aspiration, integration, personal growth and development
  7. Confidence In Learning Anxiety, learned helplessness (the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation)
  8. Attitudes To Attendance Coping with structure, routine
  9. Response To Curriculum Student-school 'fit', other environmental contributions to well-being.

Significant correlations potentially exist between distinct PASS attitude profiles and:

  • Inappropriate Behaviours
  • Social Difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Graham Allen’s review of early intervention highlighted the value of intervening as soon as possible, not just for children and their families, but also for wider society. Delivered digitally, PASS can be used to support early intervention across all ages in the following ways:

  • Screening for emotionally vulnerable pupils and those at risk of possible mental health issues, ensuring that the pupils most at risk do not slip through the net
  • Providing potential ways of working with pupils through the accompanying, award winning, PASS Online Intervention Service
  • Integrating attitudinal data with attainment data to identify 'invisible' groups such as fragile learners
  • Developing richer, more personalised ways of understanding the prevention and handling of behavioural difficulties
  • Improving school connectedness which, in turn, has a longer term impact on adult 'risky' behaviours including criminality, gambling, sexual health and drug taking
  • Proactively supporting school transition to minimise the disaffection dangers of poor transfer
  • Profiling and supporting pupils at risk of poor attendance up to 12 months before they actually stop attending school
  • Providing teachers, parents and pupils with the confidence to introduce intervention strategies sooner rather than later, based on objective and rigorous data.