ChildrenCount in Renfrewshire

A comprehensive snapshot of the well-being of over 10,000 children aged 9-16 across Renfrewshire to inform policy and practice.


The ChildrenCount Well-being Surveys provide communities with high quality data to inform the development of strategies designed to improve the lives of children and families. Coupled with existing data on need and service provision, it enables communities to:

  • Prioritise areas of children’s development for improvement;
  • Better understand size and characteristics of target populations;
  • Help understand the degree to which existing services meet local need;
  • Support the selection and implementation of evidence-based programmes or practices based on local need;
  • Identify opportunities for innovation in service provision and;
  • Form a baseline against which changes may be monitored over time.

“State-of-the-art data on children’s well-being to inform strategic decision-making; ensuring service provision is grounded in best evidence of local need.”

Our role

Renfrewshire Council commissioned the Dartington Service Design Lab to undertake the ChildrenCount Well-being Survey across all mainstream primary and secondary schools. Over 10,000 children and young people aged between 9-16 years completed the online ChildrenCount Well-being Survey during 2016/17. The Lab produced a range of data products and presentation materials:

  • Interactive data portal: An alternative to traditional data reports, it enables users across the local authority to interact with Renfrewshire’s state-of-the-art data on children’s need, compare with other participating areas and understand the relationship between need and service provision.
  • Renfrewshire well-being report: Downloadable report that contains a detailed snapshot of children’s health and well-being across the local authority, disaggregated by gender, age and over time (i.e. 2011 vs. 2017) 
  • School reports: Individual or cluster-level reports for all participating primary and secondary schools to help inform and tailor local service provision to best meet need. 


The current project stems back to the Achieving Step Change project funded by the Big Lottery Fund in 2011. This involved a comprehensive portfolio of work to collect and use data on children’s well-being and service use to inform needs-led commissioning. In 2016, Renfrewshire Council subsequently commissioned a repeat of the school-based well-being survey. This project ran between November 2016 and March 2017.

For more information, contact: Kate Tobin

Project Timeline


March Renfrewshire submits Integrated Children and Young People’s Services Plan: The plan is developed and informed by the data collected from over 10,000 pupils across Renfrewshire.

Youth participation day: The data is shared with young people at a cross-school youth participation day to obtain richer insight and interpretation.

Interactive data portal launched: This includes state-of-the-art data on the children of Renfrewshire’s well-being and service provision.

Finalised individual or cluster-level school reports: Headteachers are provided with individual school level reports, or cluster-level reports from the smaller schools to help inform local service provision.

Finalised Renfrewshire well-being report: The report contains a comprehensive snapshot of children’s well-being across Renfrewshire. It includes prevalences, confidence intervals and sample size information. It is further disaggregated by gender and age. It also provides comparison with data collected elsewhere and includes trend data for Renfrewshire (i.e. 2011 compared with 2016-17).

FebruaryData cleaning and analysis: Health and well-being data from over 10,000 pupils across 49 primary schools and 11 secondary schools in Renfrewshire is analysed.

January ChildrenCount data collection complete: Over 85% response rate is reached by schools and the survey is closed.

DecemberChildrenCount data on-going: Nearly all schools complete the survey prior to the Christmas break. Agree to keep the online survey open to allow additional data collection in larger schools to help further increase response rates.

NovemberChildrenCount data collection begins: The online ChildrenCount Well-being Survey is launched. Schools organise the logistics, and supervise children and young people completing the survey during class-time.

ChildrenCount implementation website launched: The ChildrenCount implementation website enables schools and the local authority to review school response rates in real-time, log parent or child withdrawals from the survey, and download relevant training materials to ensure quality of delivery of the survey in class.

ChildrenCount information website launched: The ChildrenCount information website is set up to provide the public with readily accessible information about the ChildrenCount Surveys. It includes Renfrewshire’s information and consent materials for pupils and parents; ethics submission of procedures and subsequent ethics committee approval and; full access to the primary and secondary schools.