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C1 Module 1.2

Using data for planning and success

Before You Begin

What sort of data could you collect to help inform your mental health strategy?

There are many ways to collect a school community’s opinions, which can help inform your mental health strategy. What ways would gather the most opinions?

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Data is helpful for tracking your school’s mental health progress – but how can you efficiently collect this data?

Want information? Use surveys!

If you want to know the opinion of your entire school community, including students, staff, parents and carers – a survey may be a good way.

Surveys are useful in helping schools find out what people think about a range of issues. Data collected through surveys informs school planning, helps schools measure achievement and identifies areas for improvement. Survey results can also be compared against national averages to help you monitor the progress of your school’s mental health strategy.

The MindMatters survey tool

To provide a free and efficient approach to whole school community data gathering, we’ve created the MindMatters survey tool. The surveys are designed to collect the opinions of school leadership, staff, students, parents and carers, and provide the action team with important information to guide its activities.

The survey tool specifically supports schools in implementing MindMatters and provides a number of benefits to your action team, including:

  • easy to use, secure online administration
  • attractive, easy to read reports
  • compare data over time to understand progress
  • compare your school to national averages
  • data privacy assured
  • print versions of surveys available for situations where these are more appropriate.

Getting ready to survey

When you are clear about what information you need to collect, your action team is well-placed to start working out who you need to survey, when you need to survey them and how you plan to send out your surveys.

The more people who complete your survey, the more valid the results will be. Be creative in ways to get the greatest response rate; however, be mindful of who may not respond to the survey and think about how this might bias or skew your results.

Interpreting survey results

The MindMatters survey tool automatically collates data into a report for each survey you administer. The reports are very easy to interpret and provide you with grouped information based on the MindMatters target areas. The following activities can be helpful in helping you interpret the gathered data:

  • Compare survey results with the perception wheel introduced in Module 1.1 Getting started.
  • Consider the results for individual questions.
  • Look for similarities and differences in the survey responses across your school community.
  • Transfer survey results to the implementation plan, introduced in Module 1.1 Getting started, so that you can identify general trends and note anything of urgency or importance.

What could you do to encourage greater survey response rates?

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