Background There is growing evidence linking early social and emotional wellbeing to later academic performance and various health outcomes including mental health. An economic evaluation was designed alongside the Roots of Empathy cluster-randomised trial evaluation, which is a school-based intervention for improving pupils’ social and emotional wellbeing. Exploration of the relevance of the Strengths and Diffi culties Questionnaire (SDQ) and Child Health Utility 9D (CHU9D) in school-based health economic evaluations is warranted. The SDQ is a behavioural screening questionnaire for 4–17-year-old children, consisting of a total diffi culties score, and also prosocial behaviour,which aims to identify positive aspects of behaviour. The CHU9D is a generic preference-based health-related quality of life instrument for 7–17-year-old children.