#BeeWell is a wellbeing measurement and improvement framework for secondary schools in Greater Manchester.

Experts from The University of Manchester and the Anna Freud Centre are working with leaders from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the city-region’s secondary schools on a major new project that will survey children about their wellbeing and preparedness for life beyond school, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programme is absolutely essential if we are to truly capture the right intelligence around wellbeing needs of young people as part of Young Person’s Guarantee and ensure that more of them feel hopeful, optimistic and supported as they move through school, prepare for adulthood and transition into the world of further education, training and employment.

Andy Burnham / Mayor of Greater Manchester

This pioneering project – the first in the UK which seeks to cover all secondary schools in a city-region – will ask pupils about aspects of their lives that influence their wellbeing and will provide valuable insights and information for school leaders, charities, businesses, other local actors and policymakers to provide appropriate support services and make immediate improvements.

The research will create a rich longitudinal evidence base that leads to a better understanding of the drivers of young people’s wellbeing, including, for example, the influence of arts, cultural, and physical activities.

Building on the model developed in HeadStart, participating schools and localities will receive aggregated feedback, using our dynamic online data dashboard, which enables them to interrogate data trends at different levels of granularity and over time through intuitive, accessible visualisations. The Child Outcomes Research Consortium will provide expert support for schools to act on this evidence.

In addition, neighbourhood data will be published, enabling a genuinely place-based approach to young people’s mental health in which arts and cultural organisations, youth clubs, sports clubs, businesses, charities and other actors work together to address local needs and priorities.

There are increasing calls – including from the Children’s Society – for a national system for the assessment and monitoring of young people’s wellbeing1. Our vision is to trigger a step-change in education, such that the assessment system (which currently focuses almost exclusively on academic attainment) is rebalanced to give greater parity to wellbeing and the aspects of young people’s lives that impact upon it, including their experiences during and following the COVID-19 lockdown.

View the full proposal.


(1) Children’s Society. The Good Childhood Report 2019. London; 2019.