Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the staff commitment needed for completing surveys and engaging in the project?
  2. What will survey feedback reports for schools provide? (and how are they useful?)
  3. What is the research team’s rationale in selecting of the two year groups in Secondary Schools?
  4. Approximately how long do the surveys take to complete?
  5. Are paper copies of the survey available?
  6. Can the surveys be completed on iPads?
  7. Is it ok for staff to help and support pupils while they are completing the survey, in particular with regard to EAL children or those with a lower reading age/understanding?
  8. You’re asking us to send you pupil lists, how do we do this securely?
  9. Why are you asking for a response rate of at least 90%?
  10. How is confidentiality maintained?
  11. Does the management of the data comply with GDPR requirements?

 

1. What is the staff commitment needed for completing surveys and engaging in the project?

We recommend that schools nominate a school lead who will liaise with the researchers at the Evidence Based Practice Unit and the University of Manchester, and who will be responsible for the administration of the survey. Visit the Steps for Schools page for details on what is expected from schools.

2. What will the feedback reports for schools provide? (and how are they useful?)

Once the survey period is over, the data will be analysed by our research team at the UCL, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and the University of Manchester, and we will provide schools with individual feedback reports. The feedback will go through individual schools’ data from each of the areas of the survey, including pupils’ positive wellbeing, behavioural and emotional difficulties, the presence and strength of protective factors (such as perceived support at school, home and in the community), and ability to deal with stress and manage emotions. We will benchmark schools’ own data against that of other schools to provide some sort of gauge. All feedback is at school and/or year group level to protect individual pupils’ anonymity.

The feedback to schools can usefully provide schools with a snapshot of the state of the strengths and challenges for their students and highlight areas to target for prevention or support. However, as the surveys are repeated year on year, schools will also be able to see trend data (i.e. how responses from students in the school are changing over time) or use the data to gauge the impact of support they are providing to pupils. Eventually, schools will be able to use survey data alongside other information that they hold about their pupils (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity) to create a more nuanced picture of the psychological wellbeing and needs of their pupils.

Additionally, data gathered using the Wellbeing Measurement Framework can be used to send a positive message to parents that the school has the broader wellbeing of pupils at its core and can be used as evidence of good practice for Ofsted.

3. What is the research team’s rationale for selecting the two year groups in Secondary Schools?

In secondary schools, in the first year (2018) all pupils in Years 7 and 9 will be asked to complete the survey. The Year 7 students completing the survey in 2018 will then be followed up when they are in Years 8 and 9. Additionally, every year (2018-2020), Year 9 students will be asked to fill the survey as well.

This allows us to do two things, which we will share with you: 1) To explore the survey data longitudinally (from year 7 to year 9) and observe changes in the same children over time, potentially before and after they receive support from one or more interventions; 2) To take a repeated snapshot approach by collecting measurement year-on-year of those in Year 9 in order to examine the changes in the same age group over time, which can address issues of co-occurring developmental changes.

4. Approximately how long do the surveys take to complete?

During our piloting phase, in which we piloted the survey with a number of secondary schools, on average the survey takes students 18 minutes, with the fastest students completing it in 10 minutes, and the slowest in 40 minutes. Please factor in time around the survey itself, however, for preparing pupils for the survey (e.g. briefing them on what the survey is and what is expected from them, logging in, etc.). You should expect this to take up an entire lesson.


5. Are paper copies of the survey available?

We cannot accept survey responses from pupils that have been completed on paper. This is for two reasons: 1) There is clear research which shows that pupils respond differently to questionnaires when they complete them on paper and when they complete them on a computer. Having a combination of the two methods of completion in a sample will add a confound into the data (make it more difficult to interpret); 2) There will be over 100 hundred schools completing the survey, for practical reasons we need to stick to a consistent approach. However, if you would like a copy of the survey to share, the primary and secondary school versions are both available to download at https://www.annafreud.org/what-we-do/schools-in-mind/resources-for-schools/headstart-resources/.


6. Can the surveys be completed on iPads?

Yes. The survey is just a form on a webpage so it will work fine on an iPad, however the text might be a bit small for some students as the rating scale questions are presented as matrices. On iPads, the survey may work better in landscape mode (rather than portrait), so the pages aren’t so narrow and the text on each line will be slightly larger.

Please note that when doing the survey on a desktop computer it contains ‘mouse-overs’, which are not available when using an iPad. These are words that we know from piloting the survey some pupils struggled to understand and are highlighted in green and underlined in the online survey, you can hover your mouse over the word and an explanation of the word will appear. This function is not available on an iPad, but if the students have trouble with those highlighted phrases, we will also be providing a crib sheet which has alternate wording that teachers can offer to pupils.

As always, we strongly recommend that schools try the survey out using the test passwords (test1, test2… test10) on their intended hardware, whether it’s a desktop or iPad, before going ahead with the surveys.


7. Is it ok for staff to help and support pupils while they are completing the survey, in particular with regard to EAL children or those with a lower reading age/understanding?

Yes, absolutely. Please provide whatever support you would normally to your pupils. Having supported students in understanding the question and response options, please ensure they are given space to select their answer privately (e.g., look away or move away).


8. You’re asking us to send you pupil lists, how do we do this securely?

Please use the pupil list template that you can find on the Documents page on the website to send us your pupil lists. Once you have collated the pupil information you will need to password-protect the spreadsheet. Please email the password protected spreadsheet to our Data Manager (headstart@manchester.ac.uk), with the password in a separate email or given over the phone to the Data Manager.


9. Why are you asking for a response rate of at least 90%?

So that the survey data collected is representative of a whole year group, there is an expectation that at least 90% of pupils in a year group (for whom consent has been given) complete the survey. Without this assurance we cannot draw any meaningful conclusions about the mental health and wellbeing of pupils in a year group in your school.


10. How is confidentiality maintained?
All data provided will be treated as confidential.

The website that houses the survey will be completely secure and password protected. All survey data will be stored on a secure, password protected server. Only a member of the research team will have access to the identifiable data. Identifiable data will only be used to link different data sources. Once the data is linked, it will be anonymized and the analysis will be carried out on the anonymized data. All data will be collected and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Identifying information (e.g. children’s names) will only be used in order to match responses across different data sets and across different times (e.g. January 2018 and 2019). It won’t be used to identify individual children.


11. Does the management of the data comply with GDPR requirements?

The Measuring Wellbeing in Schools project is a research project which is trying to find out more about mental wellbeing in young people and what kind of support is most effective, as such the legal basis for processing these data is ‘public interest’. If public interest is the legal basis for data processing, consent is not required.

However, opt-out procedures are employed for this project but these relate to the ethical conduct of the research, a separate consideration to data processing. This aspect has a wider remit than just data processing, including protection from harm through the research process.

To satisfy these two processes (research ethics governance and data protection), we will provide:

  1. An information sheet and combined opt-out consent form for the research ethics governance
  2. A privacy notice regarding the processing of data. This sets out clearly what data are being collected and what for, as well as parents and students’ rights under the GDPR. If you would like to share this notice with parents and children at the same time as you send us the pupil lists, please do feel free to do so via your usual communication channels. Please also see the EBPU website for a more detailed privacy notice.

In relation to the above, in order to clarify our intention to only process data for research in the public interest, we are happy to send you our Data Sharing Agreement clearly outlining the terms of use of any data obtained (including lists of pupils). This will explicitly set out exactly what we can, and can’t, do with your pupil lists, and will be signed by our data manger and by a representative from your school. Please get in touch with us if you would like to see this.