Although schools express a wide range of goals, school-effects research studies and the evaluations of educational systems often emphasise academic achievement to the neglect of other goals. Yet the experience provided in schools is a significant component of the lives of most people and deserves consideration in terms of its quality as well as its relationship to academic achievement.

What students think of their schools is a frequent topic of conversation among students themselves, among students and their families and among teachers. "How's school?" is the start of many discussions and evokes a range of responses. Beyond a role as a conversation starter there are several reasons why students' views of, and attitudes to, their schools are important.

  1. Students spend a significant part of their lives in schools and what they experience in that time is of importance in itself
  2. Students' attitudes to school are important because they relate to (but are not necessarily the same as) many affective and enduring purposes of schooling.
  3. Attitudes to school are important because they are presumed to influence student learning.

The School Life Questionnaire (SLQ) provides accurate, measurable, reportable data on students’ ratings of their school connectedness, engagement and motivation to learn. This data is compared againsta pool of 'All Schools' data.

Available in both upper primary school and secondary school versions, the SLQ consists of 40 anonymous questions which take approximately 40 minutes to complete either online or in paper & pencil format. Schools may choose to test selected groups or the whole school. Results are returned to the school in the form of a comprehensive report within 10 working days.