“I am daring to dream that we have reached or are close to reaching a tipping point in Australian education where a growing appetite for change by most if not all stakeholders can be leveraged for rapid improvement in the system.”

Associate Professor Philip Riley

Chief Investigator, The Australian Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey​



The Wellbeing Toolkit uses adaptations of two very well designed and tested tools in an anonymous pre-/post- application designed to provide schools with broad measures of both wellbeing and social capital in the school staff group. The first measure is the WEMWBS (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale), a well-established 14-item scale across 5 response categories covering feeling and functional aspects of wellbeing, applied extensively in the United Kingdom and several other countries worldwide. The second measure is an 8-item survey developed and applied extensively in the Finnish public sector to measure workplace social capital, including designations for cognitive and structural social capital; vertical and horizontal social capital; bonding (‘to get by’), bridging (‘to get ahead’) and linking (trust across authority gradients) social capital. Applied to a base of 150,000 public sector employees in Finland over a period of 15 years, the tool is robust with longitudinal data and well-documented health end points. All survey results are anonymous and used to provide individual schools of broad measures of wellbeing and social capital before and after the toolkit application.

The inclusion of robust and effective impact evaluation throughout the Toolkit ensures that schools have clear visibility of both wellbeing and social capital across their staff. This data, in conjunction with other complementary impact measures around school performance and accountability, will assist school leadership teams in the implementation of initiatives geared towards elevated staff engagement and ultimately enhanced learning environments and outcomes for students.


The Wellbeing Toolkit has been developed by NESLI in consultation with a cross-section of Australian K-12 stakeholders.​

The Wellbeing Toolkit is partially funded by the Australian School of Applied Management. ASAM will provide $750,000 of seed funding over the next 3 years.​

The Wellbeing Toolkit responds to the insights and recommendations flowing from the Principal Health & Wellbeing Survey.​

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Office of the National Director
National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative, NESLI
Level 3, 607 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia


Phone: 1300 938 470
Email: info@NESLI.org
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