Health and Wellbeing Census 2021-22
Information for Parents and Carers of P5 - P7
A message from Lorna French, Acting Head of Schools and Lifelong Learning:
We aim to improve children’s services in your area. To help with this, we are asking schools to take part in the Health and Wellbeing Census 2021-22 which asks all children in Primary 5 (P5) to Secondary 6 (S6) about their lives and wellbeing.
Your child will be asked to complete an online questionnaire in class. Answers to further questions you may have can be found on the school website. They explain what to do if you do not want your child to take part. Your child will also be given a leaflet on the survey.
Why are we asking children to take part?
The results will be used to understand the health and wellbeing needs of children. This will help to improve the way children’s services such as education, health and voluntary organisations are planned and delivered.
Keeping your child’s information safe
The results will not look at children’s responses individually or enable an individual child to be identified.
The answers provided by your child will be linked to other information already held about your child. For example, information already held by us such as your child’s sex, ethnic background, the area they live in. This will only be for statistical and research purposes. We will make sure that your child remains unidentifiable. Please see the frequently asked questions for more information.
Your child will not be asked to provide their name. However, they will be asked to enter their Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) as this will then help with statistical analysis. Your child’s name will not be linked to your child’s answers. There will be no direct way they can be identified from their responses.
Nobody will be allowed to use the information to look for children who might need help. However, if while looking at the data, our team see anything that concerns them, they may need to do something to help a child. This would be the only time that we would match the identity of a child using a separate database we have access to that includes children’s names and their Scottish Candidate Number. This will only happen in exceptional circumstances.
Do I have to do anything?
You do not have to do anything if you are:
- happy for your child to take part in the survey and for their answers to be linked to other data for statistical and research purposes and
- aware that your child’s identity will remain confidential unless a concern is identified which your local authority may need to act on to help your child.
If, however, you do not wish your child to take part in this survey, please complete the opt-out form on ParentPay within the next 10 days.
Your child is also able to choose not to take part, even if you say they can.
You can find out more by visiting
- Scottish Government’s website www.gov.scot/publications/health-and-wellbeing-census-2/
Alternatively, you can contact your school.
Acting Head of Schools and Lifelong Learning
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you asking my child about their lives and wellbeing?
By law, local authorities and their partners are required to plan for children’s services for their local area. To ensure that this is done effectively, it is important to understand the wellbeing and needs of children in each local area. Your local service providers will use the results gathered from this survey to help improve services for children and families.
What is my child being asked to do?
We are asking P5 to S6 children to fill in an online health and wellbeing survey. Your child will be asked to complete an online questionnaire during class time that will take around 20-40 minutes. Your child’s school will organise and arrange for children to take part.
Are you allowed to ask for this personal data about my child’s health and wellbeing?
Yes, as local authorities are required by law to plan for children’s services in their local area, they have a legal basis to ask children and young people about their lives and wellbeing to help them with this.
The individual data about your child is collected by your local authority for statistical and research purposes only for the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest.
Why do you need this data about my child’s health and wellbeing?
We need this information about your child/children in order to:
- plan and deliver better policies for the benefit of all children and families, or specific groups
- better understand some of the factors which influence the outcomes for children
- target resources better
- enhance the quality of research to improve the lives of people in Scotland
- provide a window on society, the economy and on the work and performance of local and central government
Will anyone see my child’s answers?
No one other than a small team of analysts and IT support staff within your local authority will see your child’s answers. These staff are trained to keep data safe, confidential and anonymous. You child will not be asked to type in their name into the survey. Your child’s answers will be stored securely by your local authority, and the school or teachers will not see any of your child’s answers.
All information will be confidential and secure. Your local authority will not publish or make publicly available any information that allows for your child to be identified, nor will data be routinely used to take any direct actions on your child as a result of the information they provide.
However, if analysts within your local authority see anything in your child’s answers that they are concerned about, they may need to do something to help your child. This would be the only time that the identify of your child would be sought by identifying your child from a separate database that holds your child’s name together with their Scottish Candidate Number, and for which the local authority also has access too. This should not happen very often so it is highly unlikely that anyone will contact you or your child.
What topics will my child be asked about in the survey?
Your child will be asked questions that cover a wide range of topics, such as:
- Your Child’s attitude to school
- Your Child’s perception of achievement
- Your Child’s perception on the pressure of school work
- Your Child’s physical activity/exercise
- Your Child’s eating behaviours
- Your Child’s general health
- Your Child’s general wellbeing (life satisfaction)
- Your Child’s mental wellbeing (S2 pupils upwards)
- Your Child’s physical or mental health condition
- Your Child’s sleep pattern
- Your Child’s feeling of discrimination
- Your Child’s relationship with peers
- Your Child’s self-perception (body image)
- Your Child’s social media and online experience
- Your Child’s relationships with family / environment
- Your Child’s relationships with parents/carers
- Your Child’s resilience
- Your Child’s involvement in decision making
- Your Child’s use of alcohol (S2 pupils upwards)
- Your Child’s use of tobacco (S2 pupils upwards)
- Your Child’s use of drugs (S4 pupils upwards)
- Your Child’s involvement in positive activities
- Your Child’s caring responsibilities
- Your Child’s experience of bullying
- Your Child’s aspirations and career planning
- Your Child’s relationships and sexual health (S4 pupils upwards)
- Your Child’s sedentary behaviour
- Your Child’s perception on places to play
More information about this data collection can be found here:
and on the Scottish Government’s website: https://www.gov.scot/publications/health-and-wellbeing-census-2/
Will the information about my child health and wellbeing be shared with others?
Yes, your child’s answers will be shared with analysts at the Scottish Government using secure transfer systems. This information is shared so that the Scottish Government can use this information to develop and monitor national policies, to target and provide resources, and to provide Parliament, Ministers and the wider community with information in relation to the lives and wellbeing of children and young people. Your child will never be identified from any published findings.
Will the Scottish Government share information about my child’s health and wellbeing with others?
The Scottish Government may further share data about your child with other approved organisations and researchers. However, data access will only be granted once this has been thoroughly reviewed and approved by their own data access procedures, and will only be shared for further statistical and research purposes. Your child will never be identified from any published findings.
Any sharing or linkage of data about your child/children will be done under the strict controls, and will be consistent with their data policy and the National Data Linkage Guiding Principles. At all times your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other relevant legislation will be ensured. Your child will never be identified from any published findings as a result of any linked data.
You can find out more from looking at the Scottish Government’s own website https://www.gov.scot/publications/health-and-wellbeing-census-2/
How do you store the data about my child’s health and wellbeing?
The storage of this data about your child within your local authority is managed effectively by David Maguire.
How long will you keep the data about my child’s health and wellbeing?
Data held about your child within the local authority is managed effectively by secure systems on secure servers and is exploited as a valuable corporate resource, subject to confidentiality restraints.
The personal data we hold about your child will be stored for longer periods as the data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes and is subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals.
Will my child’s answers affect the services they receive?
No. Your child’s answers will be combined with what other children have said, to produce statistical summaries that, in turn, help plan services in the future.
Does my child need to take part?
No. It is up to you and your child to decide to take part. You can opt-out of taking part by completing and returning the slip with the letter to your child’s school via ParentPay. Your child can also say to their teacher that they do not wish to take part at any time. Not taking part will have no impact on your child’s schooling or any services used.
What are my individual rights?
The GDPR gives you the right to object to the processing of your child personal data. However, where the processing of personal data is for scientific or historical research, or statistical purposes, these rights to object is more restricted.
Can I object to the processing of my child’s health and wellbeing data?
No. If your child takes part in the survey, then as the processing this statistical data is necessary for the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest, you do not have a right to object to the processing of your child’s personal data.
Can I ask for my child’s health and wellbeing data to be deleted?
No. If your child takes part in the survey, then as the processing this statistical data is necessary for the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest (and for no other purpose, such as direct marketing), we are not required to erase your personal data as we need to retain this data for this purpose.
Can I ask to see what data you hold about my child’s health and wellbeing?
No. If your child takes part in the survey, as the data we will then be processing is lawfully gathered and processed for Research, Statistics and Archiving in the public interest, and that any results of the research or resulting statistics are not made available in a form which identifies your child, you do not have a right to request access to the data we hold about your child.
How can I find out more?
You can find out more information about this survey at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/healthandwellbeingcensus
and from the Scottish Government’s website: https://www.gov.scot/publications/health-and-wellbeing-census-2/.
If you have any further questions, please contact your school
What if I have concerns?
The Data Protection Officer for this data is David Maguire.
If you have any concerns around this data collection, please firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, complaints may be raised with the Information Commissioners Office at email@example.com.