The aim of this project is to establish a School Health Research Network among secondary schools in the South West of England (SW-SHRN). This work will build on that of similar established networks in Wales and Scotland. The reason for having such networks is to provide research evidence to schools on how to improve the health of their pupils because healthy children learn better, and the better educated children are, the healthier their lives will be in the long-term.
We will work with 20 secondary schools in the south west of England. We will seek to recruit Year 8 and Year 10 pupils in these schools and ask them to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask about pupils’ mental health, health and social well-being, and risk-tasking behaviours (e.g. alcohol, drugs). We will also ask a member of staff to complete a questionnaire to collect information about school policies relating to health improvement in their school. We will work with schools to produce school specific feedback reports which summarise the health of the pupils in the school, and provide benchmarking data where appropriate.
We will also talk to schools to identify things that might make running a school health research network easier or harder and use this information to explore new ways to expand the network and into a larger group of schools both in the south west and in other parts of England. We will also talk to key stakeholders to identify key issues to consider in sustaining the network long-term.
A Young People’s Advisory Group and a Stakeholder Group with members of the public residing have been formed to inform the project.
Beyond the school reports, results from the project will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journal articles, conferences and in a policy briefing document.