Building resilience
and mental wellbeing for children and young people

This is where you will find data on the national evaluation of HeadStart. For local evaluation of the HeadStart programme see our Local Learning page.

Wellbeing Measurement Framework (WMF)

As part of the national evaluation of HeadStart each secondary school in Cornwall conducts an annual survey of pupil’s emotional health and wellbeing using the WMF survey - the first survey of its kind to measure the emotional health and wellbeing of young people in Cornwall. This survey is completed annually from 2017 to 2021.

The WMF forms part of the national evaluation of the HeadStart programme and is led by the Evidence Based Practice Unit (University College London and Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families) and is implemented locally by the HeadStart team in Cornwall Council. For more information about the survey (including what it contains and the ethics approval) see this Briefing Note.

Information for secondary schools

The WMF survey 2021 is now open. Schools can access information on how to manage the survey here.

Accessing the WMF results

We support schools to use the WMF to inform their Whole School Approach by producing hard copy reports of their results to inform their School Action Plans. Schools can also access their school results through the online tool developed and managed by University of Manchester (using their unique login and password).

The aggregated Cornwall-level data is available for everyone to access. See the annual reports from 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Or access the data via the online tool by going to and using the username hskernow and password 8E6wyAW7  

Local analysis

In Cornwall we data-link the WMF results with locally held data to use in the following ways. This is further described in a case-study  produced by CORC:

  • We embed the WMF results in discussion with schools to inform a Whole School Approach to emotional health and wellbeing.
  • We give presentations to Headteachers, Governors , the School Effectiveness Team and the Virtual School.
  • We contribute to evidence bases (such as the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Summary on Mental Health (2019), Mental Health in Schools Wave 3 trailblazer, the MOD evidence base on Service Children)

Young Carers: A forthcoming journal article produced with Dr Richard Sharpe (Public Health) and an unpublished dissertation by Hannah Dixon for her BSc in Childhood Studies at University of Bristol (2019) found:

  • Young Carers experienced significantly greater emotional and mental wellbeing problems than their peers
  • Young Carers in schools that implement Young Carer support (such as after school groups) generally obtain higher scores for wellbeing as measured by the Student Resilience Survey measures on the WMF.

National evaluation of HeadStart

The Evidence Based Practice Unit uses the WMF results from Cornwall and the other five Local Authorities, who participate in the HeadStart programme, to evaluate and learn from the HeadStart programme  


Mental health problems in young people, aged 11 to 14: results from the first HeadStart annual survey of 30,000 children 

Learning from HeadStart: the relationship between mental health and school attainment, attendance and exclusions in young people aged 11 to 14 

Whole school approaches to promoting mental health: what does the evidence say?

Learning from HeadStart: the mental health and wellbeing of adolescent boys and girls 

Policy Briefings:

What are HeadStart interventions focusing on to improve mental health in 10 to 16-year-olds?’ 

  • Partnerships are focused on interventions that seek to increase wellbeing
  • Partnerships are more focused on interventions to promote individual characteristics such as coping skills, as opposed to community attributes such as community relationships.

What are HeadStart partnerships doing to support the mental health of children and young people aged 10 to 16?

  • There are 5 types of interventions for young people that are outlined in the report.

 Supporting young people at home: what helps young people with their mental health and wellbeing? 


Page last updated: 26 April 2023

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