The Realigning Children’s Services (RCS) wellbeing survey asks about aspects of emotional and physical wellbeing such as family life, friendships, school, play and health. The responses that children and young people provide are used to help plan and improve local services.

Survey of pupils in P5 to P7 (contractor – ScotCen)

This is an entirely new survey, designed specifically to deliver the needs of the RCS programme. Children will complete a web-based questionnaire during a lesson at primary school.

All children in P5-P7 will be asked to complete the same questionnaire, regardless of which school year they are in. The differences in age are unlikely to have a significant effect on how they interpret and respond to the questions. Participation is entirely voluntary and a child can choose to opt out at any time.

The survey will take around 20 minutes to complete. It will use clear and simple language that the children use themselves. The questions will be short, simple and well-defined, and avoid ambiguous or abstract ideas.

Audio support will be available with this survey, which means that all the instructions, questions and answer categories on screen are also read out via an audio recording. Each child will be allocated an individual set of headphones.

Survey of pupils in S1 to S4 (contractor – Ipsos Mori)

This is a new survey based upon the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS), with additional questions on wellbeing.

The survey is online and takes around 25 minutes to complete. Young people in years S1 to S4 in participating Community Planning Partnership (CPPs) will be invited to take part in the survey. Again participation is entirely voluntary and a child can choose to opt out at any time.

RCS runs alongside the national SALSUS survey. Some S2 and S4 pupils in these schools will take a combined questionnaire. All other secondary school pupils will take the main RCS secondary questionnaire.


The survey is provided on a secure website created and managed by the researchers: ScotCen for primary schools and Ipsos Mori for secondary schools.

Each child’s answers will be de-identified which means we will not know the names of the children that have taken part- we’ll only see the answers along with their year group and school.

All the information from the survey will always be confidential and secure (this means nobody outside the study team will be able to see it) and it will be impossible to identify anybody from the published results.

The survey’s privacy notice explains how and why we collect data through the Children’s Wellbeing Surveys, how we use it and what we do to protect the information collected.

There is a separate privacy notice and cookie policy for this website.

Developing the survey

The survey asks carefully researched and checked questions associated with wellbeing.

We consulted with teachers, as well as experts in the field of child wellbeing, when devising the questions and their responses.  Similar surveys have already been asked in other parts of Scotland.

The surveys are set up to allow participants to easily skip any questions they do not want to answer. Parents are also given the opportunity to opt their child out of participating.

Survey findings

The survey will be reported to show patterns of children’s wellbeing in schools (where there are enough responses) and across the local community planning partnership.

The findings will be published as general statistics and will be useful to indicate current and future needs. The individual children’s answers will not be identifiable nor available  for the local authority to use with the child or their parents.

Who is running the survey?

The Scottish Government in collaboration with individual local authorities has asked ScotCen – an independent, not for profit, social research organisation – to run the wellbeing survey for primary schools. Ipsos MORI is running it within secondary schools.

Two public bodies, the National Records of Scotland Indexing team and electronic Data Research and Innovation Service will be responsible for the data linkage aspect of the programme.

For more information on the process and background of the surveys please see the Families and Professionals pages.