Student Wellbeing: What did it look like in 2020?

Jack Wood

For most, 2020 will go down as either a year to forget or a year to learn from, depending on which “glass half full/empty” outlook we choose to adopt. All schools certainly faced some tough challenges to hurdle, like the sudden switch to online learning, international students being stranded, boarders needing to be sent home and the sanitising routines we all grew to know (and probably despise).

From the resilience we witnessed on display at our partner schools, we think we can safely say that schools embodied a “glass half full” attitude, taking onboard the learnings from last year and improving because of them. At Komodo, we certainly felt very inspired by the schools we work with and adopted the same outlook in everything we did last year and will continue to do so moving forward.

As we took a moment to review last year, we thought it a great idea to use our data to pull together a report to show you what student wellbeing looked like across independent schools in 2020.

Unsurprisingly, high stress levels were the most common issue reported on Komodo, contributing to 15.2% of all student wellbeing issues reported. 50% of students recorded that they experienced serious mental stress at some point. Stress was then followed by poor sleep quality and sleep duration, which contributed to 12% and 9.1% of wellbeing issues respectively.

Additionally, these three issues often coincided with one another, suggesting even stronger correlations between stress and sleep concerns. Off the back of this, our youth psychologist will be discussing how to encourage better sleep hygiene throughout the year as it will be a key area for schools to address.

The makeup of wellbeing issues varied slightly by gender, with energy issues making up 9% of all wellbeing issues for boys, while girls had greater struggles with the amount of sleep they were getting. Academic struggles were a problem for both boys and girls, with it contributing to 9% of all female wellbeing issues and 8% for the boys.

Last year saw us introduce Komodo’s new check-in system, which intelligently highlights students that are specifically facing higher priority wellbeing problems that require staff intervention. On average, we saw that approximately five critical student check-ins were recommended per school on a weekly basis. When equipped with that information, pastoral care staff were able to proactively check-in with students and prevent serious wellbeing problems. On average, the immediate wellbeing concern was resolved within one day of the issue being identified by Komodo. That’s an incredibly impressive statistic and reflects just how quickly pastoral staff can react to student problems once they surface.

Ultimately, this past year has been a difficult year for all, with added pressures being placed on schools, their staff and their students, which has begun to show. Unfortunately, it is anticipated that there will only be an increase in wellbeing issues over the next year (and beyond) due to the influence of COVID-19. We will be working harder than ever to ensure our schools have all the right tools to ensure the health and happiness of their students.

If you wish to explore how Komodo can improve school wellbeing for your school, you can arrange a discovery call with us here.