The aim of this project is to establish a School Health Research Network among secondary schools in Southwest England. 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 healthy their lives will be in the long term.
We will work with 20 secondary schools in the Southwest. We will seek to recruit all Year Eight and all Year Ten pupils in these schools and ask them to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask about the pupil’s mental health and several different behaviours such as physical activity (exercise), eating, smoking and alcohol use. We will also collect information on the programs that the schools are currently running to try and help their pupils to be healthy.
We will work with schools to produce school specific feedback reports which summarise the health of the pupils in the school and how they compare to other schools within the network. We will also be able to provide information on how the programs that each school runs compares to other schools in the network.The information that we collect will be used to provide information on the health of the pupils and where they might need help.
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 Southwest and in other parts of England.