Brian Caldwell’s short introductory address at the Wellbeing in Schools Australia (WISA) conference in Melbourne on 14 October 2016. The title is ‘School wellbeing and why it is fundamental to quality schooling’. Brian is Patron of WISA.
At first sight, student wellbeing is a well-researched field. It seems that every state and territory has done a comprehensive review of literature on the topic in recent years. Its importance is explained on the website of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training on Student Resilience and Wellbeing which states that:
Student resilience and wellbeing are essential for both academic and social development and this is optimised by the provision of safe, supportive and respectful learning environments. Schools share this responsibility with the whole community.
Not only do confident, resilient children with a capacity for emotional intelligence perform better academically, these skills can also contribute to the creation of strong social bonds and supportive communities, and the maintenance of healthy relationships and responsible lifestyles.