An introduction to the Boxall Profile®, the leading tool to assess the SEMH needs of children and young people

25 January 2023

The Boxall Profile® is a unique online platform used to assess the social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) of children and young people. The Boxall Profile® enables educators to develop a precise and accurate understanding of individual children’s social and emotional functioning, and to plan effective interventions and support activities to combat barriers to learning.

It is a highly regarded tool that was cited by the Department for Education (Department for Education, 2018, Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools Guidance) and is the most popular measurement used in schools to understand the wellbeing and support needs of their pupils (Department for Education, 2017, Survey: supporting mental health in schools and colleges).

Why is the Boxall Profile® so powerful?

The Boxall Profile® is a powerful tool that can help education professionals to understand what lies behind a pupil’s behaviour, providing an accurate and precise insight into their mental health and wellbeing as well as identifying the level of skills they currently possess to access learning.

This unique assessment tool is powered by over 50 years of rigorous, evidence-based research – tracking and managing children’s social, emotional and mental health needs.

Tiffany Dunworth, a teacher at Laurance Haines School, has described her own experience of using the Boxall Profile® and explains how useful it is in her role:

“This year was my first time doing Boxalls and I found it incredibly insightful. I found that it made me think more deeply about individuals and the results were interesting. For some children, choosing an answer was immediate, for others it took a little bit of thinking time. Conversations after the completion of the Boxalls were helpful and allowed me to understand why children are the way they are and what we can do to support them best. I was initially worried about doing the Boxalls as it was my first time, but I enjoyed the process and found the questions clear and understandable. I feel that I have a better understanding of how to support my pupils with their social and emotional wellbeing.”

 Who benefits from the Boxall Profile®?

  • Children and young people – the Boxall Profile® gives a voice to children and young people’s behaviours that otherwise go unexplained or often overlooked. It provides an early identification and assessment of needs so children and young people can get the specific support they need at school.
  • Practitioners and teaching professionals – the Boxall Profile® increases practitioner’s confidence as they learn the underlying reasons for a pupil’s difficulties and how to overcome them. It offers education professionals a wide range of suggestions about relevant resources and strategies that they can use to support their pupils.
  • Schools and educational settings – the Boxall Profile® provides schools with a framework for the systematic assessment of pupils. It also helps them to develop an evidence based, whole-school approach that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing across the school.
  • Local authorities and governments – the Boxall Profile® produces quantitative evidence to explore and better plan targeted approaches aimed at supporting social emotional wellbeing. It also helps to measure the impact of mental health support offered to pupils with particular needs, across a whole local authority or whole country.

Why is the Boxall Profile® needed in schools in 2023?

With the effects of the pandemic still taking its toll, many children and young people are concerned about the lasting impact on their education and futures – and these concerns may lead to drastic behaviour changes. According to a recent study by YoungMinds and Beano Brain, the cost of living crisis has also had a negative influence on young people’s mental health as they have become increasingly anxious with concerns about money.  It is vital that schools use the Boxall Profile® to identify what may be behind a pupil’s challenging behaviour and what their needs might be. 

The need to nurture children and young people’s wellbeing and prevent the escalation of more complex mental health problems has never been more apparent. Schools should monitor the SEMH needs of all pupils and address them at an early stage. The best way to do this is to use the Boxall Profile® – it allows teachers to understand a child’s social and emotional competencies, and to plan effective interventions and support activities where needed.

By understanding and responding to children’s behaviours and the social and emotional pressures they are under using the Boxall Profile®, schools can de-escalate situations which might otherwise lead to exclusion. With the right support and training, many of these issues can be dealt with in a mainstream school setting. 

Visit our Boxall Profile® website to learn more about the tool and why it’s important to complete an SEMH Assessment for each of your pupils.