Building better wellbeing in schools: how can we ensure children and young people’s wellbeing is central to the COVID-19 recovery?

This virtual event in collaboration with the Social Market Foundation discussed how we can build better wellbeing in schools across the UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a conversation about what matters in society and whether the renewed attention given to wellbeing can translate into policy and practice. But as students have returned to schools, much of the conversation is focused on academic catch-up. Is now the time to take a renewed look at wellbeing in schools? How can we ensure children and young people’s wellbeing is central to the post-pandemic recovery?

At the event we heard about the #BeeWell project, which is investigating the wellbeing of school children across the Greater Manchester City Region. The study, run in collaboration with a number of partners, will survey thousands of secondary school children in order to provide timely data back to local schools and policymakers which they can use to improve support services. Whilst the project is focussed in the Greater Manchester area, its findings could have national significance and help policymakers to build a better picture of wellbeing in schools.


  • Kate Green MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education
  • Neil Humphrey, Professor of Psychology of Education at The University of Manchester
  • Kadra Abdinasir, Head of Children and Young People’s Mental Health, Centre for Mental Health
  • James Kirkup, Director, Social Market Foundation (Chair)


This event was recorded on 25 March 2021.