PASS provides us with an excellent way of understanding feelings and concern students may have, as well as identifying students for targeted interventions. It allows us to identify the root causes of why quiet students may be lacking in confidence in their ability and it highlights students who might be at risk of disengaging
Esther Doyle, Guidance Counsellor, Presentation Secondary School, Waterford City

PASS Quick Reference Guide

  • Age range: 4-18+ years
  • Suitable for: Teachers, Senior Leadership Teams, SENCOs, Educational Psychologists and Health Professionals
  • Test duration: Approx 20 minutes
  • Test format: Digital

Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS)

The Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) survey is a short self-evaluation survey that you can use to gain insight into attitudes that could be hindering achievement. PASS all-age attitudinal survey helps you detect possible barriers to learning, including issues around confidence, resilience, motivation, concentration, disaffection and alienation


Robust research shows that students who do not have high self-belief underachieve and are more likely to become disengaged.

Ensure that the most at risk pupils do not slip through the net.

In just 20 minutes, PASS provides you with an insight into pupils’ mindsets that would otherwise be difficult to gain. It helps you identify the reasons behind low attainment, challenging behaviour and low attendance, enabling you to build a complete picture of a pupil’s motivation, attitude and engagement in learning.

Wellbeing has also been a particular focus in the Framework for Junior Cycle, so tools that provide a whole student view, including personal attitudes and mental health, are essential. 

“Children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social, and school wellbeing, on average, have higher levels of academic achievement and are more engaged in school.” DfE Research Report: The impact of Behaviour and Wellbeing on Educational Outcomes

“The results were astounding. We have very able students who don’t think they are able at all because they are making a false association between their proficiency in English and their intellectual capability.” -

PASS highlights nine standardised factors proven to be significantly linked to educational goals:

Attitudinal factor

What it measures

1. Feelings about school


Explores whether a pupil feels secure, confident and included in their learning community.


2. Perceived learning capability


Offers an insight into a pupil’s level of self-respect, determination and openness to learning.

3. Self – regard, as a learner


Equivalent to self-worth, this measure is focused specifically on self-awareness as a learner, highlighting levels of motivation and determination.

4. Preparedness for learning


This measure covers areas such as study skills, attentiveness and concentration, looking at the pupil’s determination and openness to learning.

5. Attitudes to teachers

This measures a young person's perceptions of the relationships they have with the adults in school. A low score can flag a lack of respect.

6. General work ethic


Highlights the pupil’s aspirations and motivation to succeed in life, this measure focuses on purpose and direction, not just at school, but beyond.

7. Confidence in learning

Identifies a pupil’s ability to think independently and to persevere when faced with a challenge.

8. Attitudes to attendance


Correlating very highly with actual attendance 12 months later, this measure enables teachers to intercede earlier with strategies to reduce the likelihood of truancy.

9. Response to curriculum demands


This measure focuses more narrowly on school-based motivation to undertake and complete curriculum based tasks, highlighting the pupil’s approach to communication and collaboration.


PASS adds valuable insight to the ability data you have from CAT4.

By comparing CAT4 and PASS results you can identify students who are very able but may not perceive themselves to be as able as the data would suggest. 

With PASS you are able to identify fragile learners who are not achieving their potential due to attitudinal barriers. A low score in any area can be a starting point for a more qualitative follow up.

What we want is for each child to feel that every lesson has been personalised and designed specifically to meet their needs. They call this the ‘The Mona Lisa Effect’, after the way Mona Lisa’s eyes are said to look at viewers wherever they stand.


What you can do with the PASS data

  • Understand the root causes of why a pupil is disengaging.
  • Predict accurately which pupils are most likely to stop attending school, up to 12 months in advance.
  • Find out if your pupils are struggling with the study skills they need to access the curriculum.
  • Gauge learner’s self-worth, which could be affecting academic potential.
  • Identify 'invisible' groups such as fragile learners.


A trusted psychometric measurement

The survey has been standardised against a representative national sample of more than 600,000 respondents and has been used by over 2,500 schools across the UK as well as over 100 Local Authorities.

 “It was an epiphany moment and I could immediately see the benefits of using it in conjunction with CAT4. It’s no exaggeration to say PASS has been one of the most exciting educational discoveries I’ve made.”

"I very quickly grasped the value of PASS an excellent, whole-school, health and wellbeing screener. Allowing pupils the opportunity to identify their barriers to learning and share with support staff that gives them an element of ownership.”

Scott Campbell, GL Assessment Consultant in Scotland and former PT Guidance/Pastoral Care 

“The data we are collecting brings to light any obstacles preventing children from fulfilling potential. If they are not displaying overtly disruptive behaviour, they can sometimes stay hidden."

Martyn Silezin, Rhondda CynonTaf CBC (RCT)


Reporting: for schools, parents, carers and governors

Reports are made instantly available on our online assessment analysis system.

Interpretation of results is made easy with a bar graph representation and a simple traffic light system for identifying high/medium/low support required. 

Visual reports can be downloaded instantly following the survey completion, and broken down by demographics (nationality, gender, ethnicity), specified groupings (EAL category, additional educational need), or on an individual level.


Online Intervention System 

Our Online Intervention System enables you to:

  • Visualise reports easily in bar chart form
  • Analyse results according to any required demographic
  • Access thousands of intervention strategies
  • Compare screening results over time
  • Measure the impact of intervention strategies
  • Create Excel and PDF reports for cohort groups/whole school analysis


Measure the effectiveness of intervention strategies

Allowing a minimum of 12 weeks between surveys, you can run the PASS survey for a second time with the school/cohort and then compare the two reports.