Our School Climate Suite®: Using our Suite to Improve Student Outcomes

Our School Climate Suite®

Our School Climate Suite® is comprised of research-based, robust, reliable, and empirically validated instruments designed to assess the perceptions of school members: staff, teachers, students and parents/caregiver. Using the School Climate Suite® to guide improvement brings changes at the level of culture and promotes and benefits the whole school population rather than diagnosis and treatment of individuals.

School climate is a measure of people’s lived experiences, which are shaped by prevailing norms, traditions, beliefs and attitudes. The climate of a school is reflected in the daily interactions between school members, the attitudes and behaviours and the rituals practiced. Each school’s climate, like a person’s personality, is unique.

A positive school climate is crucial because it is associated with a range of student outcomes (see below), including academic, behavioural, social, and mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

Improving School Climates to Improve Outcomes

Developing a positive school climate is crucial because it is associated with a range of student outcomes (see below). Our School Climate Suite® provides schools and systems with a measure of school climate from the perspectives of school members to guide and monitor improvement efforts. 

Promoting student outcomes

Positive school climates provide protective factors that promote developmental and other student outcomes, such as:
  • Self-concept.
  • Social-emotional learning.
  • Physical and mental health.
  • Resilience.
  • Academic achievement.

Reducing undesirable behaviours

Positive school climates are related to reduced:
  • Absenteeism.
  • Bullying.
  • Aggression and violence.
  • Risky behaviours.
  • Disruptive behaviours.

Using our School Climate Suite® to Improve Student Outcomes

Supports educational change efforts

Positive school climates, characterised by a strong sense of community and high levels of relational trust, build psychologically safe environments that encourage teachers to speak out, share ideas and experiment with innovative ideas. Further, positive school climates reduce teachers’ resistance to change.

Improves teacher outcomes

Positive school climates are related to improved teacher and staff outcomes, including:

  • Job satisfaction.
  • Occupational stress.
  • Morale.
  • Organisational commitment.
  • Psychological safety.

Provides protective factors

Positive school climates provide protective factors that maximise opportunities for student development. A school’s climate can promote students’ adaptive functioning (the skills needed to navigate the demands of life effectively) and development, and influences students’ cognitive and affective outcomes.

Reduces Maladaptive Responses

Positive school climates improve prosocial behaviours and provide protective factors that reduce maladaptive responses (ineffective responses to coping with stressors, such as bullying).

Improves Students’ Experiences

Even small fluctuations in the school climate constitute substantial differences in students’ experiences. Focusing on the school climate allows educators and school leaders to think beyond how individual students cope with stressors (e.g., bullying), which promotes a focus on (fixing) the individual, to examine how environmental factors can be changed.

Promotes resilience

A school's climate is essential in developing and enhancing student resilience. From a social-ecological perspective, rather than focusing on individuals to determine how they can cope with stressors (such as bullying), educators can maximise opportunities for students across the whole school population by leveraging factors in a school's climate.