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Welcome to our SHRN newsletter for the Autumn 2019 term! 
The Student Health and Wellbeing Survey is well underway….

The survey opened in September 16th 2019 and so far over 38,000 young people in Wales have already taken part in it.

*Just remember if you have any queries or concerns just get in touch and we will help to sort them out.

If you have already started…..
Thank you!

There are just a couple of points that are worth stressing:
  • In the email that was sent with the survey links from for your school, there is also a link to a dashboard which will allow the link teacher to monitor completion rates within the school.
  • Remember to keep track of numbers of parental withdrawals /year group as you will need to report that back at the end of the survey in Form B.
If you have yet to start…

We thought this would be an ideal time to remind you that the pack of information needed to complete the survey was sent from on September 2nd. This has all of the information needed to support you to plan the survey in school. It will really help to set aside time to read it all through.

The survey links to allow your students to enter the survey were sent on September 13th from In that email there is also a link to a dashboard for the school allows the link teacher to monitor completion rates within the school.

If you are unable to locate any of these please just email or phone us and we will help you to get started.
There are two important issues to remember to factor in to your planning a week before the school starts the survey:
  • Two methods must be used to contact parents/carers before the survey starts to allow time for them to let the school know if they do not want their child to undertake the survey. Remember to collect this for Form B
  • If the school has opted to take part in data linkage research. It is essential that the information video to students is shown. This video explains what data linkage research is and students’ right to withhold their consent for data linkage.
Network staff

Both Amy Edwards our research assistant and Dr Rebecca Anthony our Research Associate are both on maternity leave with their beautiful babies.  We are lucky to have been able to have their roles taken up by three members of DECIPHer staff who we would like to introduce you to:

I am Emily Lowthian, I was a placement student with DECIPHer in 2014 working on SHRN data and reports and then I joined as a PhD student. I am now covering Rebecca’s role as Research Associate while she is on maternity leave. I will be supporting the development of peer-reviewed publications using the data generated by SHRN. Alongside this SHRN role, I am also involved on a number of projects which focus on childhood and educational outcomes. In particular, my PhD is developing an understanding how parenting and the family environment is affected by parental substance misuse, and the effects this has on their children’s educational outcomes. 

My name is Nick Page and I have recently been appointed to the role of SHRN analyst. Originally from Exeter, I moved to Wales in 2007 to begin my studies and have spent the whole of my academic career living and working within Wales. I was awarded a PhD in a public health-related field from Cardiff University in 2015 and have been working at DECIPHer since January 2019. With expertise in quantitative data analysis, I am hugely excited to be able to work with SHRN to ensure that we maximise the potential of the Student Health and Wellbeing Survey to inform policy and practice here in Wales and help safeguard the health of our young people.

My name is Danielle Couturiaux and I will be taking over Amy’s role as Research Assistant while she is on maternity leave. I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago but have lived in Wales for nearly six years now and recently graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Politics and Sociology. My previous roles in DECIPHer included working as an administrator on the Wellbeing in Secondary Education (WISE) study and as a fieldworker on the JACK Trial. As such, I am really keen to continue working with schools through SHRN.

My name is Mr. Rhydian Jones and I am the Health and Well-being lead at Ysgol Aberconwy in North Wales. I am a PE teacher whose passion for sport and exercise grew during my studies at Loughborough University whilst my interest in health and well-being developed whilst completing my Masters degree at Bangor University. Originally from Lampeter in West Wales, I currently live with my wife Hayley, daughter Mila (3) and son Noa (1) in Bethesda, North Wales.
Both myself and the school have benefitted significantly from our partnership with SHRN since volunteering to be involved in the pilot survey way back in 2013. I am extremely grateful to both Ysgol Aberconwy and the SHRN for allowing me this secondment opportunity during this incredibly exciting time for health and well-being education in Wales.
How feasible will it be to have teaching staff seconded to the School Health Research Network?

We are running a pilot to test out if having school secondments to the School Health Research Network would be feasible and of benefit, both to school staff for their professional learning and for the further development of the Network.  

It is with great pleasure that we introduce Rhydian Jones who is helping us with this pilot. He has been seconded for a day a week to SHRN for this academic year from his senior leadership role as Health and Wellbeing Lead at Aberconwy High School, Conwy. He has been our link teacher for the school since the Network’s inception in 2013 and he has been a keen supporter of SHRN. We look forward to being able to share the learning from this new development later in the year.
Dates for your diary 2019/20
Summer Events

After the success of our 2019 SHRN summer events, we have decided to re-use the same venues again for our 2020 events – people did really seem to like them. We have also worked out provisional dates for the events, so please make sure you pencil these into your diaries ASAP. Registration for the events will be open by Easter:

West Wales:
Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli - 16/06/2020

South Wales:
Radisson Blu, Cardiff – 18/06/2020

North Wales:
Deganwy Quay Hotel and Spa, Deganwy – 24/06/2020

We have also confirmed the dates for all of our upcoming webinars in the 2019/20 school year, we hope you can join us:


Wednesday 20th November 2019
New and emerging risk behaviours: gambling and dating and relationship violence
Tuesday 4th February 2019
How does time-off in school holidays impact children and young people’s mental health?
Wednesday 18th March 2019
A web meeting to gauge views on future developments for the School Health Research Networ
Materials from our 2019 Summer Events

Thank you to everyone who managed to make it to our events way back in June! Having such a high turnout at all events was fantastic, and we were extra grateful to those of you who shared your schools’ practices around health and wellbeing. As we know a number of you weren’t able to make it to the events, we’ve included the presentations from Estyn’s Lead for Health and Wellbeing, and from school representatives, on our website. Follow the link below to find downloadable versions of the presentations:
Two schools that have completed the survey have kindly shared their learning:

Caerleon Comprehensive School

Tip 1

Set a calendar date for the survey to take place and make it appear in the school calendar.  Work back from this point.  Two weeks prior to the date inform staff if you have a chance to have a whole school meeting on the purpose of the survey.  One week prior send out the two forms of communication and also start the video process during registration and assemblies. 

Tip 2

If emailing the school as one method of contacting parents, highlight the hyperlink to the video on data linkage to the parents as well as sending the letter. This helps to reduce the number of queries.

Tip 3

Have one centralised place to record the parental opt-outs and allow time for these to be collected to reduce any potential confusion when administering the survey.

Chris Maidment, Assistant Headteacher


Connah's Quay High School

As a large secondary school, the biggest challenge is coordinating access to computers for large numbers of learners to complete the survey within a time frame. We have used ICT lessons for KS3 and the length of the survey fits nicely into a school lesson. Learners in KS4 used one core PE lesson so had to be provided with a classroom and computers to do this. It's also great knowing that support for technical and logistical problems is on hand from the SHRN team.

As this is the second time CQHS has been involved in the questionnaire, staff and learners are aware of the benefits the data provides. The data has enabled targeted PSE sessions to be delivered which focus on the 'real' issues, rather than having to almost guess what the needs are. This view is supported by learner feedback on the content of the PSE curriculum over the past 2 years. 

Amanda Creevy, Assistant Headteacher

School Environment Questionnaire
In the year of the student survey, we will ask all schools to complete one School Environment Questionnaire in the spring term. This covers school policies and practices across a range of health and wellbeing areas and will be with you in Late January/early February and open for six weeks. This year it will be electronic for the first time and we hope that this will allow it to be more easily completed.  

This can be done by the health and wellbeing lead for the school or a team of interested staff. It should serve as an internal audit of health and wellbeing activity in school.

The information from the School Environment Questionnaires is very important for school health research because what you tell us can then be related to student responses on health and wellbeing issues
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