KidsMatter Primary is a whole-school approach to improving the mental health of children. It is a flexible framework that schools use to promote and support the social and emotional wellbeing of students in primary schools.
KidsMatter Primary enables staff to link with families, health agencies and the wider community to support children’s wellbeing. Participating schools can access blended learning, publications, resources and support.
KidsMatter Primary was jointly developed by the Principals Australia Institute, beyondblue, and the Australian Psychological Society with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and beyondblue.
Principals Australia Institute project officers work with staff in schools in every state and territory to implement KidsMatter Primary. To learn more, visit the KidsMatter Primary website.
The pilot phase of KidsMatter was established in 2006, in collaboration with the Australian Psychological Society, the Australian Principals Associations Professional Development Council (now Principals Australia Institute), beyondblue and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and supported by the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund. A total of 101 schools were recruited, with an evaluation by Flinders University published in 2009.
2009 – 2010
State education and health jurisdictions were encouraged to provide key staff to support schools in the implementation of the framework and use of KidsMatter Primary professional learning resources, resulting in a total of 300 schools engaged in the framework.
2011 – June 2016
In 2011, the KidsMatter Primary project was expanded with a goal of engaging an additional 1700 schools in the framework. The implementation strategies developed in 2011, form the implementation strategies still used by Principals Australia Institute staff in the service delivery of KidsMatter Primary. There are now over 3,060 Australian schools engaged in the KidsMatter Primary framework, with an additional 500 plus schools having accessed training and/or resources.
To address accessibility issues for schools unable to attend face-to-face training, KidsMatter Primary began development of the KidsMatter Primary Portal, an online professional learning and tracking tool for schools, which was launched in 2014. Since then, Principals Australia Institute staff incorporate the online learning platform into their implementation support of schools, to provide a more blended model of delivery.