The School Health Research Network (SHRN) is a policy-practice-research partnership between Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, and Cardiff University established in 2013. SHRN aims to improve young people’s health and wellbeing in Wales by working with schools in both primary and secondary education to generate and use good quality evidence for health improvement. This includes student and school-level surveys, capturing key health and wellbeing metrics. These metrics are referenced in over 30 national policies and strategies, including the Whole School Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing (2021) and Estyn’s Healthy and Happy Report (2019)
Since 2017, all mainstream secondary schools in Wales have become registered SHRN members with over 90% of schools completing SHRN’s Student Health and Wellbeing Survey in 2021/22. Our current primary school survey offers an opportunity for joined up working across childhood and adolescence, and an avenue to better understand and support events such as transition to secondary school.
SHRN aims to improve young people’s health and wellbeing by:
Providing robust health and wellbeing data to schools and national/regional stakeholders: Bespoke SHRN feedback reports with national benchmarking are provided to schools and local authorities to enable data-driven self-evaluation and action planning.
Generating new research evidence on how best to improve young people’s health and wellbeing in the school setting: SHRN’s network of ‘research-ready schools’ facilitates the co-production and evaluation of whole school interventions such as the whole school approach to emotional and mental wellbeing.
Enabling joined up action planning, evaluation, and feedback across primary and secondary education: Expansion of SHRN into primary schools means data can inform transition of learners from primary to secondary settings, with validated, age- appropriate measures enabling understanding of how health, wellbeing and behaviors develop across surveys.
Working with policymakers and practitioners from education and health to co-produce high-quality, school-based health and wellbeing research evidence for Wales: A national infrastructure supported by Welsh Government and Public Health Wales, SHRN provides key data across the school system to identify what works to improve learner health and wellbeing.
Helping schools, and those who support schools, to understand health research evidence and how it can be used for health improvement: Strategically integrated with the Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Schemes, SHRN works closely with Public Health Wales and provides evidence-informed resources, including webinars and research briefings, to engage with and support all members of the school community to better understand and meet the health needs of learners.
The 211 schools in the School Health Research Network are joined by our partners.
Find out about our partners
Schools in the School Health Research Network receive a number of benefits.
The Advisory Board role is to critically review the strategy and activities of the network.