We asked members and partners what the School Health Research Network meant to them:
‘Welsh Government supports and collaborates with the School Health Research Network by providing funding from both Health and Education and making strategic decisions together to impact the national school system and improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Building on the Health Behaviour of School-aged Children (HBSC) survey, a key part of the collaboration centres on the data infrastructure that SHRN has built for Wales providing, through a two yearly survey, robust and timely data on young people’s health. Welsh Government are able to feed in to the content of the survey and working with academic experts in Cardiff University, ensure rigorous measures are used. This data can support national surveillance, policy monitoring and evaluation. It has also enhanced capacity to monitor young people’s health and wellbeing in relation to emerging policy areas such as: the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015.
Welsh Government can also be involved in co-producing school health improvement research evidence and contribute to its translation into policy and practice to influence change in Wales.’
Dr Chris Roberts
Deputy Chief Social Research Officer
Public Health Wales
‘For Public Health Wales (PHW) our strategic partnership with the School Health Research Network (SHRN) represents a successful ongoing research-policy-practice partnership which has strengthened and developed over time. We provide financial resource and contribute to decision-making at strategic and operational levels to ensure that the work of the Network has maximum policy and practice relevance. This collaboration allows us to access robust, nationally representative data on both the school environment and student health and wellbeing outcomes to enable us to inform our work at national, regional and local level. It also provides mechanisms to evaluate and test innovative practice in addition to supporting population surveillance.
PHW is responsible for the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes (WNHSS) and has worked with SHRN to more closely integrate the two networks: one practice oriented and one research oriented, so each can draw on the others assets and expertise in order to create more effective and sustained improvements in student health and wellbeing. Our collaboration is based upon reciprocal benefits: SHRN helps us to enhance the functioning of the Welsh school system in relation to health and wellbeing, whilst we improve SHRN researchers’ opportunities to achieve impact from their research.’
Director of Health Improvement
Public Health Wales
“The School Health Research Network is now a central piece of our school’s self-evaluation processes. Along with other data sets it allows us to measure progress in aspects of our school’s approach to the health and wellbeing of students. In addition we can now compare our feedback against other schools across Wales and helps us hold the mirror up to our practice and provision. Alongside this the Environment Questionnaire helps me as a senior leader to explore the links to curriculum design, leadership and community based resource opportunities.”
Deputy Headteacher Monmouth High School
These quotations were taken from School Health Research Network evaluation forms:
“Good to network with other schools. Links with researchers. Support with policies/ new guidance.”
“Very useful set of data, pleased that Estyn are interested in using it and demonstrate how much they value it.”
“It is enormously beneficial for us to get a raft of data which can be considered by staff, pupils and external agencies to analyse and organise programmes.”
Headteacher, South Wales
“Being a member of SHRN gives us as a school, access to up to date and relevant research, support and information.”
Assistant Headteacher, North Wales