What’s Happening In This School? Survey

What’s Happening In This School (WHITS)


An inclusive school climate is integral to students’ academic, emotional and behavioral success at school. The WHITS survey has been developed to assess attitudinal, structural and cultural processes which determine both how inclusive the school culture is as well as important outcomes of an inclusive schools, such as resilience and well-being. The WHITS harnesses the potential of teachers to improve the school at the primary and high school level by using student feedback.

The WHITS survey is administered annually and can be used as part of a process of school improvement. The scales have been carefully researched and developed to help to guide changes in school practices and monitor reform efforts aimed at increasing the safety and inclusivity of the school.

The scales and survey questions of the WHITS survey have been modified and validated for use with primary and secondary level students*. Three versions of the WHITS are available:

  • One for use with lower primary school students (Years 2-3)
  • One for use with upper primary school students (Years 3‐7)
  • One for use with secondary school students (Years 8-12).

Both versions of the WHITS have the same three parts: (1) scales that examine students’ perceptions of the school climate, (2) scales that examine important outcomes of a positive school climate such as student resilience and wellbeing, and (3) scales that examine important risk factors that the school climate can influence. The table below describes the individual scales and shows which scales make up each version of the WHITS survey.

Measurable improvements over time

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