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Measuring National Well-being: Measures of Well-being for Children and Young People Consultation Response

Background

In March 2014, ONS published articles which asked for feedback on a draft set of measures of national well-being for children aged 0 to 15 and young people aged 16 to 24. The measures aim to give information on key sub-groups of the population. These will supplement the existing 41 measures of national well-being which are published by the Measuring National Well-being programme twice a year.

The articles outlined a draft set of 24 headline measures of children’s well-being and 29 of young people’s well-being, along with reasons for choosing them. The measures were developed based on findings from the MNW Children and Young People’s project1, as well as suggestions from a stakeholder workshop which was held in January 2014. The measures were grouped by seven of the 10 domains used in the national set. These domains are:

  • Personal Well-being

  • Our Relationships

  • Health

  • What We Do

  • Where We Live

  • Personal Finance

  • Education and Skills

The remaining three domains, Governance, Natural Environment and Economy, are more relevant to all ages so were not included.

Summary of responses

ONS received 13 responses to the consultation: four from charities, five from academics, and four from local or central government departments. There were a lot more responses regarding the children’s measures than young people’s measures. ONS also reviewed the list of suggested measures from the workshop held with key stakeholders in January 2014. These had not been fully investigated in time for the consultation paper.

For the children’s measures, the feedback suggested:

  • nine new measures in the Where We Live domain and 

  • eight new measures in the Health domain and two to be removed 

  • six for Education and Skills  and one to be removed

  • five new measures in the What We Do domain

  • 4 new measures in the Our Relationships domain 

  • Two new measures in the Personal Finance domain; and 

  • One new measures in the  Personal Well-being domain.  

For the young people’s measures, stakeholders suggested five new measures to include and three to remove. 

Outcome

ONS has reviewed the feedback and produced a revised set of measures. Each suggestion was checked to make sure data were available. Where appropriate data were identified, the geographical coverage and frequency of publication were then considered (see the criteria used to select measures of national well-being).

The revised set of headline measures for children now has 31 measures and the young people’s set has 28 measures2 across the seven domains.

  • 10 new measures have been included for children and three have been removed, 

  • three new measures have been included for young people and two have been removed.

The revised lists of headline measures for children and young people can be found in Annex A.

The revised set of headline measures, detailing inclusions and exclusions, can be found in the tables for children (48 Kb Excel sheet) and young people (41 Kb Excel sheet) . The tables also show the reasons for including or excluding measures.

Future developments

ONS will continue to develop the measures for children and young people, using the feedback we receive. Please send any comments to nationalwell-being@ons.gov.uk

ONS will undertake more in-depth analysis of the children’s measures to provide a better understanding of what they tell us about UK children's well-being. This will be published in autumn 2014. An update of the data for both children’s and young people’s measures will be published in early 2015.

Annex A - Revised measures

Children

Personal Well-being
Proportion of children with medium-high level of life satisfaction
Proportion of children with medium-high level of happiness yesterday
Proportion of children with medium-high level of worthwhileness
Proportion of children who have relatively high level of satisfaction with their appearance

Our Relationships
Proportion of children who quarrel with a parent more than once a week (mother/father)
Proportion of children who talk to a parent about things that matter more than once a week (mother/father)
Proportion of children who have been bullied at school physically, in other ways or both, at least 4 times in the last 6 months
Proportion of children who have a relatively high level of satisfaction with their family
Proportion of children who have a relatively high level of satisfaction with their friends

Health
Proportion of term babies with low birth weight
Proportion of children who are overweight including obese
Proportion of children who have excellent or very good health
Proportion of children who have a disability or long-term limiting illness
Proportion of children reporting symptoms of mental ill-health

What We Do
Proportion of children who have participated in any sport in the last week
Proportion of children who have engaged with, or participated in, arts or cultural activity at least 3 times in the last year
Proportion of children using computers and games consoles
Proportion of children who have a relatively high level of satisfaction with their time use

Where We Live
Proportion of children who have been a victim of crime in the last year
Proportion of children who feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark
Proportion of children who like living in their neighbourhood
Proportion of children who have a relatively high level of satisfaction with their accommodation
Proportion of children who have accessed the natural environment at least once a week in the last year

Personal Finance
Proportion of children living in households with less than 60% of median income
Proportion of children living in workless households
Proportion of children who have relatively high satisfaction with their possessions
Proportion of children living in household with combined low income and material deprivation3

Education and Skills
Proportion of 3 and 4 year olds participating in funded early years education
Proportion of children who achieve 5 or more GCSEs or equivalent A*-C including English and Maths
Proportion of children with a relatively high level of happiness with their school
Proportion of children who would like to go on to full-time education at a college or university

Young People

Personal Well-being
Proportion of young people with medium-high level of life satisfaction
Proportion of young people with medium-high level of happiness yesterday
Proportion of young people with medium-high level of worthwhileness
Proportion of young people with medium-low level of anxiety yesterday
Mental well-being score (mean score)

Our Relationships
Proportion of children who quarrel with a parent more than once a week (mother/father)
Proportion of children who talk to a parent about things that matter more than once a week (mother/father)
Proportion of young people with someone to rely on when there is a serious problem

Health
Proportion of young people with a disability or long-term limiting illness
Proportion of young people who have a relatively high level of satisfaction with their health
Proportion of young people reporting some symptoms of anxiety or depression
Proportion of young people who are overweight including obese

What We Do
Unemployment rate
Proportion of young people with a relatively high level of satisfaction with the amount of leisure time they have
Proportion of young people who have volunteered in the last 12 months
Proportion of young people who participate in at least one session of moderate activity a week
Proportion of young people who have engaged with or participated in an arts or cultural activity at least 3 times in the last year

Where We Live
Proportion of young people who have been victims of crime at least once in the last year
Proportion of young people who feel safe walking alone in their local area after dark
Proportion of young people who agreed/agreed strongly that they belonged to their neighbourhood
Proportion of young people who have accessed the natural environment at least once a week in the last year
Proportion of young people who are fairly/very satisfied with their accommodation

Personal Finance
Proportion of young people living in households with less than 60% of median income
Proportion of young people with a relatively high level of satisfaction with their household income
Proportion of young people who find it difficult or very difficult to get by financially

Education and Skills
Proportion of young people who have attained National Qualifications Framework level 2 qualifications by age 19
Proportion of young people who have attained National Qualifications Framework level 3 qualifications by age 19
Proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)

Notes:
  1. ONS, 2013 Review of available sources and measures for children and young people’s well-being (712.7 Kb Pdf) ; ONS, 2012 Measuring National Well-being - Children's Well-being, 2012

  2. The measures ‘quarrelling with mother/father’ and ‘talking with mother/father’ have been combined so they are now counted as two measures rather than four.

  3. Material deprivation: A child is considered to be in material deprivation if they live in a family that has a final material deprivation score of 25 or more out of a possible 100. This indicates that the family lacks the ability to purchase key goods or services. Combined low income and material deprivation: The proportion of children who are in material deprivation and live in households where income is less than 70 per cent of median household income.

 

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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