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The Every Student Matters Student Voice Online Survey

Using ESM to Discover Your Students’ Perceptions of Life in School

Running the Online Survey

Evaluating the Outcomes of the Every Child Matters Agenda

Using ESM to Monitor School Improvement Targets

Using ESM for the SEF

Using ESM to Discover Your Students’ Perceptions of Life in School

Every Student Matters (ESM) tells you about your students’ perceptions of school life, including their attitudes to safety, health, learning, relationships and their aspirations for the future.

Click to download the ESM Brochure

Every Student Matters is a process for school improvement with student participation at its heart. The ESM process involves students completing an online survey to answer a series of questions on life at school, including their attitudes to safety and health, relationships, their future and their aspirations.

The results of the survey are compiled into a report to be used as the basis for the consultation process for whole school improvement. All results are presented under the Every Child Matters headings for detailed analysis and decision making.

See Example ESM Results Report - this is for a subset of the full question set.

The Every Student Matters online survey provides:

  • Feedback from Students - ESM gives you essential feedback on students’ concerns, attitudes and aspirations
  • Student Participation in School Improvement - ESM provides a real opportunity for young people to make a positive contribution to school improvement
  • Progress with Every Child Matters - ESM measures your progress in achieving the outcomes of the Every Child Matters agenda
  • Staff Development - ESM informs professional development for improving the delivery of learning and teaching

The Every Student Matters survey has been developed in schools with question sets for both primary and secondary education. It takes students just minutes to complete and within hours you can review the results and start planning strategies for improvement.

Running the Online Survey

Typically schools allocate time for students to complete the survey in their alloted period in the ICT suite over the course of a week or fortnight. Students log in to the Every Student Matters website using a generic school username and password to complete the survey anonymously.

When all students have completed the survey, notify us and we will compile your results and provide your completed report so you can begin your review straight away.

Features of the Every Student Matters online survey:

  • Completely Online Survey - run ESM from anywhere with an internet connection, no software installation required
  • Student Anonymity Encourages Honesty - ESM is anonymous so students tend to be less reserved and more honest in their responses
  • Complete in a Single Lesson - The ESM survey takes most students about 15-20 minutes to complete and can be carried out over a defined period (e.g. a week) to allow all students time to participate
  • Rapid Results - The results of the survey are automatically collated on completion of the survey and presented in a report for review and consultation
  • Cost Effective for ALL Schools - ESM price based on number of students on roll with discounts available for repeat runs of the survey
  • Training & Advisory Service - We offer a consultation and advisory service to help with your results or in establishing a change process

Evaluating the Outcomes of the Every Child Matters Agenda

The Every Student Matters process is designed specifically around evaluating the outcomes of the Every Child Matters agenda. Every Child Matters is the Government’s vision for children’s services designed to help children and young people achieve the outcomes that are key to well-being in childhood and later life.

The ESM survey questions are designed to elicit student views based on the following Every Child Matters outcomes:

  • Be Healthy - This outcome is a function of delivering health messages shared with local health services as well as developing personal responsibility towards health
  • Stay Safe - Staying safe is affected by both the experience and perception of safety by students. For schools establishing a sense of belonging and a culture where students act as role models to each other is important. Positive student to student relationships make a large difference to the perception of safety
  • Enjoy & Achieve - This outcome relates not only to educational standards but students perception of the fun and excitement of learning and their sense of accomplishment. Students’ attitudes towards learning, their curiosity and creativity also shape this outcome
  • Make a Positive Contribution - This outcome indicates not only the range of opportunities on offer to students but also their sense of leadership, responsibility, curiosity and creativity. Students also need confidence in their abilities to take advantage of opportunities, a healthy attitude towards risk taking. The quality of support given to students will clearly be a major factor
  • Achieve Economic Well-being - This outcome not only requires students to gain the necessary skills and qualifications but is a function of the economic opportunities in any area. Analysis of all the results by socio-economic group will provide insight into the perceptions and attitudes of different groups of students. Schools influence a student’s confidence to take action which in turn shapes their engagement

The results of the ESM survey are collated in a report with five sections corresponding to each of these outcomes. The report provides clear information for evaluating the contribution the school is making to meet these outcomes. It can be used to inform discussions with all members of the school community involved in students’ well-being.

Using ESM to Monitor School Improvement Targets

Since we have encouraged the students to voice their opinions and perceptions it is important to work with them and share the data. Further analysis of the data in student focus groups is an essential part of the ESM process.

Staff may perceive the results differently and this will encourage healthy debate.

Having reflected on the data you can set targets for change in your students’ culture and measure progress year on year by repeating the survey at suitable intervals.

We offer a consultation and advisory service to help with your results or in establishing a change process.

Using ESM for the SEF

The new Self Evaluation Form (SEF) requires schools to state how they are improving against each of the ECM outcomes. The student responses to questions the ESM survey can be presented to show progress made against each ECM outcome in section A2 and also elsewhere in the SEF, including:

SEF Section Description
A2.2 Quality of learning and progress
A2.3 Quality of learning and progress for SEN
A2.4 Pupils achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
A2.5 The extent to which pupils feel safe
A2.6 Pupils behaviour
A2.7 The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles
A2.8 The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community
A2.10 The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
A2.11 The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
A3.1 The quality of teaching
A3.2 The use of assessment to support learning
A3.3 The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships
A3.4 The effectiveness of care, guidance and support
A4.4 The effectiveness of the schools engagement with parents and carers

For more information or a quote to run Every Student Matters online survey in your school please fill in the Contact Form and we will reply with all the details and price options. Some guide prices appear on the ESM Costs page.



Real Improvement
"Results from the survey have led to actual school improvement. A dedicated Bullying Counsellor has been employed and we have employed more male Teaching Assistants within our Special Needs area. All these outcomes came from using Every Student Matters and enabled us to demonstrate improvements in meeting the Every Child Matters agenda"
Assistant Headteacher - Callington College
Contributing to Change
"We have used ESM to consult with our student body to great effect. It has provided us with a substantial amount of student voice information about how the children perceive their learning environment. This has helped us develop ideas with the students to be included in next year’s School Improvement Plan. This led to change in the College"
Member of SLT - Liskeard School
Listening & Responding to Students
" The Every Student Matters survey has improved the way we listen to student views, providing a rigorous and independent snapshot of the learning culture .. As a school we feel we can now more confidently respond to the Ofsted criteria in terms of the ECM agenda and curriculum areas can more confidently talk about how we have taken account of student views and changed policy as a result of these views"
Staff Student Voice Representative - Telford & Wrekin Secondary