Standardised attitudinal measures explained

The Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) survey measures pupils' attitudes by focussing on nine standardised attitudinal measures, proven to be linked to key educational goals, including attitude to attendance, preparedness for learning and response to the curriculum. A low score in any factor can pinpoint negative attitudes that might not otherwise be apparent. The resulting data can help teachers open a window into their pupils’ mindset, allowing truly effective interventions to be put in place and providing a benchmark to evidence progress. The nine attitudinal measures are explained in detail below.


1. Feelings about school

Sometimes called 'School Connectedness', feelings about school explores whether a pupil feels they belong to or are alienated from their learning community. A low score in this measure can indicate feelings of social exclusion and also potentially bullying.

2. Perceived learning capability

Offers a snapshot of a learner's unfolding impressions of self-efficacy and can reveal early warning signs of demoralisation and disaffection.

3. Self regard

Equivalent to self-worth, this measure is focussed quite specifically on learning. Unlike self-esteem, self regard therefore shows a strong correlation with achievement. It would be feasible for a learner to feel uneasy about their current learning capabilities in the immediate short term while retaining a general impression of themselves as likely to be successful in the long term - this measure aims to identify this.

4. Preparedness for learning

Explores whether a pupil feels they have the tools in place to learn. It covers areas such as study skills, attentiveness, concentration and emotional responses to learning demands. It would be quite possible for a learner to score very low on this measure while retaining strong self regard. Of all the factors this one correlates most closely with behavioural difficulties in the classroom.

5. Attitudes to teachers

This measure explores a pupil's perception of the relationships they have with school staff. Interestingly, of all the factors this one is the most positive in terms of maximum response nationally.

6. General work ethic

Highlighting pupils' aspiration and motivation to succeed in life, this is the first of two motivational measures. It focusses on purpose and direction, not just at school but beyond.

7. Confidence in learning

This measure identifies pupils' ability to persevere when faced with a challenge. Does a pupil see themselves as giving up at the first hurdle or do they see themselves as having the ability to carry on.

8. Attitudes to attendance

Identifies pupils' attitudes towards attending school and as a result correlates highly with their actual attendance. It can help schools address attendance issues through the identification of those most at risk of playing truant up to 12 months in advance, enabling intervention strategies to be put into place.

9. Response to curriculum demands

A second motivational measure, focussing more narrowly on motivation to undertake and complete curriculum based tasks.