The North West London Schools Research Network is a collaborative initiative between schools across the region and four local organisations:
The NIHR (National Institute of Health Research) is the research arm of the NHS, currently expanding its support into non-NHS settings.
Mental and physical health problems among children and young people are on the rise. It is in this context the Schools Research Network has been developed. We will be able to influence, be part of, and explore together health research in school settings.
By getting involved in UK-wide and global research studies, with a focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, school children can learn about different types of research and gain skills and confidence at an early age.
The overarching goal of the network is to improve the health of school children by building new knowledge, bridging gaps in research, applying knowledge to practice, and sharing learning across the network.
We aim to invite schools to take part in UK wide and global research studies that focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Schools play a pivotal role in young people’s health and wellbeing. It is a time when health and unhealthy habits and behaviours can not only form, but also become established.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, if there was any doubt, the important role of schools in the health and welfare of children and young people. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental and physical health problems among children were on the rise, and sadly the pandemic has likely compounded these problems.
It is in this context we hope the Schools Research Network we will be able to influence, be part of, and explore together health research in school settings.
A big thank you to all who attended our first stakeholder event on 16 June 2021. The knowledge, experience and expertise of attendees was invaluable to our discussions and interaction. Take a look at some of the key findings on research priorities from a schools perspective:
We want schools to feel active members who shape the research network. We’re aiming to involve a broad range of schools and educational institutions for children and young people.
School children can learn about different types of research and gain skills and confidence at an early age about the outcomes of the research studies that they have contributed to, and what that may mean for everyday practice.
Each school will receive funding on a study by study basis. Funding is broken down against the required activity associated with the research. For example, you will usually always receive a one off set-up fee from the Clinical Research Network which we call a ‘Service Support Cost’ (of note research activity is almost undertaken directly by the research team).
If there are any additional costs related to undertaking the research these will come directly from the study team and are called ‘Research Costs’ (of note research activity is almost always undertaken directly by the research team).
An example of one of our existing studies: Participating schools were paid £1,000 for setting up a couple of focus groups with the children. This payment came directly from the study team as a way of compensating teacher time to organise the groups and as a thank you for their interest and participation.
When we circulate research opportunities each study will clearly state the total remuneration for schools.
Identifying the key areas of need, we will work with academic partners to develop relevant research studies to inform change.
We will also promote opportunities for participation in local and national studies.
Dependent on needs identified, we can facilitate support from clinicians and academics within partner organisations.
We can attend either in person or remotely to deliver presentations and webinars around particular areas of interest.
We will ensure dissemination of all findings of research where you have assisted. This will include publications and recommendations for policy change.
Together with our network partners, such as Imperial College London, we will host a careers day for young people learn more about career opportunities.
We will organise an age appropriate competition for all school children. Watch this space for topics to be agreed!
By signing up you are not committing to anything, but we will keep you updated on any new studies, training and opportunities for teaching staff, pupils and parents.
For further information about the Schools Research Network, or to discuss how to become involved, please contact: