Pupil Well-being in Danish Primary and Lower Secondary Schools

Anna Folke Larsen, Afonso Saraiva Câmara Leme og Marianne Simonsen


Since 2014, the Danish Ministry of Education has conducted yearly national well-being surveys for children of all ages in public school. The ministry introduced the survey as a tool for schools to monitor well-being of their pupils, to make informed adjustments of their own related practices, and to inform education policy at the municipal level. This paper studies the characteristics of the social well-being segment of the survey. We document that low school social well-being correlates meaningfully with standard measures of disadvantage at the pupil and parental level, just as teacher characteristics and classroom composition are additional important predictors of well-being. We also show that school social well-being exhibits high degrees of persistence over time, regardless of whether or not we control for a wide range of background characteristics. We finally show that high school social well-being is positively associated with academic performance and negatively associated with absence from school, though estimates are not large in size.

Pupil Well-being in Danish Primary and Lower Secondary Schools