The School Health Research Network: achievements and future plans event
25 March 2015
This seminar took place at Cardiff University on Thursday 19
March sharing the network's achievements with representatives from research,
policy and practice
Over 70 delegates attended the event including researchers from across Wales, the participation officer from the office of the Child Commissioner for Wales, and staff from Public Health Wales and Sport Wales. The seminar was timed to coincide with the completion of the network's scoping and feasibility study.
Professor Liz Waters, Jack Brockhoff Chair of Public Health and Director of the Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program at the University of Melbourne, spoke at the event. Delegates also heard from Heather Cooper, Deputy Head Teacher, Cefn Hengoed Community School, about how the network is helping the school to identify areas of improvement for health and wellbeing, develop measures to address these, and evaluate the impact of these actions.
Achievements and key milestones discussed included feedback on the scoping and feasibility study, and the development of tailored school health and wellbeing reports for all member schools based on data from the Health Behaviours in School-Aged Children Survey.
Next steps include planning future recruitment of network schools and, following feedback from member schools, networking events for school staff in North and South Wales during the summer term. It is hoped that the network will continue to be able to meet schools annually and to use webinars and newsletters as a means of communication during the rest of the year.
The School Health Research Network was established in June 2014. It is a network of secondary schools in Wales who have joined together with researchers and other organisations that support young people's health, to increase the quality, quality and impact of school-based health improvement research.
The network works closely with existing structures such as the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes. Their involvement in research projects is modelled on the Public Health Improvement Research Network and takes research ideas forward through to research grant proposal and execution. The network has a strong focus on meaningfully connecting research with policy and practice, and involving young people. You can find out more on the network's website.