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Student health and wellbeing

NZCER's student health and wellbeing work.

Recent Student health and wellbeing research publications

Author(s): Sally Boyd, Sinead Overbye
Research report - 2020
Author(s): Sally Boyd, Nicola Bright, Maraea Hunia, Elliot Lawes

The Manaakitia ngā tamariki kia ora ai | Supporting children’s wellbeing publication shares themes and narratives from six good-practice primary and intermediate schools that are designing and using approaches to enhance the wellbeing of tamariki. The schools were invited to be part of this study as their Wellbeing@School data showed tamariki Māori, and other learners, all had high wellbeing. These six schools had positive trends over time or high values in three indicators (wellbeing, equitable relationships, and aggressive behaviour) which suggested they were engaged in an active change journey.

Research report - 2021
Author(s): Cathy Wylie and Jo MacDonald

Student wellbeing and positive behaviour - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools

Research report - 2020
Author(s): Elliot Lawes and Sally Boyd
Research report - 2018
Author(s): MacDonald, J., Bourke, R., Berg, M., & Burgon, J
Research report - 2015
Author(s): Roseanna Bourke (Massey University) and Jo MacDonald

This paper presents an evaluation that draws on large-scale ‘student voice’ contribution. Using the context of a mental health programme that was piloted in secondary schools in Aotearoa New Zealand, this paper explores the importance of a student voice agenda in evaluations. 

Journal article - 2016
Author(s): Cathy Wylie and Linda Bonne

This is a comprehensive picture of the current experiences and challenges for secondary schools in New Zealand. It presents the findings from NZCER's national survey of secondary schools, conducted in July and August 2015.  It includes the perspectives of principals, teachers, parents and board of trustee members on a wide range of issues.

Research report - 2016
Author(s): Sally Boyd, Alex Hotere-Barnes, Lesieli Tongati’o and Jo MacDonald

This report summarises the findings from case studies of seven schools that are part of the Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide (PB4L-SW) initiative. 

Research report - 2015

This summary outlines key findings from the first phase of an evaluation of Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide (PB4L-SW). This evaluation is being conducted over 2013-2015 by NZCER for the Ministry of Education.  

Research summary - 2014
Author(s): Sally Boyd, Rosemary Hipkins

The Sport in Education initiative was introduced by Sport NZ in 2013 to demonstrate the contribution that the context and concepts of sport can make to enhancing teaching and learning for schools and students. Eight schools were chosen to demonstrate that this approach is equally valid across genders, geographic locations, roll sizes and differing socioeconomic environments.

This report prepared for Sport New Zealand covers stories based on successful practice from two years of the Sport in Education initiative. The success stories are activities which teachers considered had made a difference.

Research report - 2015
Author(s): Sally Boyd and Rachel Felgate

This report summarises the findings from the final phase of an evaluation of Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) School-Wide. It describes the extent of implementation of School-Wide in schools, identifies short-term shifts and considers the longer term sustainability of the initiative.

The report is available on the Education Counts website here.

Research report - 2015
Author(s): Cathy Wylie and Linda Bonne

This report presents the main findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools, which was conducted in July and August, 2013.

Research report - 2014
Author(s): Sally Boyd


At the heart of all new programmes, initiatives, policies or curriculum documents designed for school settings is an attempt to change some aspect of school practice. Therefore, an understanding of the key messages and lessons learnt about effectively managing change in schools is important background for anyone trying to implement new approaches in school settings.

This literature scan summarises some of the key messages and lessons learnt from the school change literature and considers how these could be applied to the implementation process of the Sport in Education initiative developed by Sport New Zealand.

Literature review - 2012
Author(s): Rosemary Hipkins

A  presentation given to the Sport New Zealand Advisory Group, based on the evaluation approach for the Sport in Education evaluation support project.

Presentation - 2012
Author(s): Sally Robertson, Sally Boyd, Rachel Dingle and Katrina Taupo

An evaluation has been released of Travellers, an early intervention programme run by Skylight for students (generally in Year 9) in New Zealand secondary schools. Skylight commissioned NZCER to conduct an external evaluation that explored the short- and medium-term outcomes for the young people who took part in this programme in 2008 or 2009.  The overarching evaluation questions were:

  • What are the short- and medium-term impacts of the Travellers programme for young people?
  • How well is the Travellers programme meeting the needs of particular target groups?
  • How can the Travellers programme be improved?

In the evaluation, most of the surveyed students (82 percent) gave the programme a positive rating and their comments acknowledged the positive impact it had had on their wellbeing.

Research report - 2012
Author(s): Sally Robertson and Magdalene Lin
Research report - 2010
Author(s): Sally Boyd

This paper describes some of the findings from an evaluation of the Fruit in Schools (FiS) initiative. It outlines how the community development and health promotion approaches used by FiS schools offered students increased leadership opportunities.

Conference paper - 2011
Author(s): Rachel Dingle, Edith Hodgen, Sally Boyd, Jacob Shapleski, Julian King and Michelle Moss
Research report - 2009
Author(s): Sally Boyd, Rachel Dingle, Edith Hodgen, Julian King, and Michelle Moss
Research report - 2009
Author(s): Sally Boyd, Rachel Dingle, Renee Campbell, Julian King, and Arden Corter
Research report - 2007
Background of students in Alternative Education: Interviews with a selected 2008 cohort
Author(s): Dr. Keren Brooking and Ben Gardiner, with Dr. Sarah Calvert
Research report - 2009