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On this page:
What is the Schools Research Network?
Video: Listening to and working with children and young people
The aims of the Schools Research Network
Video: An invitation to join us
Our offer to schools
Join the Schools Research Network
Studies in local schools
Get in touch

What is the Schools Research Network?

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.

Watch: Listening to and working with children and young people

Video transcript: Listening to and working with children and young people.

The aims of the Schools Research Network

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.

Feedback from our first stakeholder event

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:

Watch: An invitation to join us

Video transcript: An invitation to join us

Our offer to schools

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.

Remuneration

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.

Opportunities for children and teaching staff to input into research study design

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.

Support with health and wellbeing initiatives/training, including mental health

Dependent on needs identified, we can facilitate support from clinicians and academics within partner organisations.

Presentations at assemblies to speak about research and areas of interest for individual schools

We can attend either in person or remotely to deliver presentations and webinars around particular areas of interest.

Dissemination of research findings to inform evidence base and contribute to policy and practice

We will ensure dissemination of all findings of research where you have assisted. This will include publications and recommendations for policy change.

Careers day with specific focus on research roles

Together with our network partners, such as Imperial College London, we will host a careers day for young people learn more about career opportunities.

Poster competitions for children in all key stages of education

We will organise an age appropriate competition for all school children. Watch this space for topics to be agreed!

Join the Schools Research Network

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.

Studies in local schools

New studies

  • iMprOVE Study
    The iMprOVE cohort study has been set up to find out how much physical activity children do at school and how this contributes to their overall health and wellbeing.

    Find out more about the iMprOVE Study, and please contact us at improvestudy@imperial.ac.uk.

    You can also click here to register your interest in the iMprOVE Study and a member of the team will respond.

    We will provide £1000 for your school’s participation and each child who takes part will receive a £5 Amazon voucher.

  • Reflective Functioning and Disordered Eating Behaviours in Schools
    Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that affect a wide variety of people, and can result in long term emotional and physical harm.

    We are looking to investigate the levels of disordered eating behaviour (e.g. excessive exercise, restrictive eating or vomiting after meals) in schools. We want to understand what factors put young people at risk of developing an eating disorder.

    We are asking schools to support students to complete a series of questionnaires on their eating habits, thoughts and feelings.

    We know how difficult it can be for teachers and school staff to support children who are struggling with disordered eating. In return for taking part, schools are being offered teacher training sessions on how to identify problems, support students and what resources are available.

    We are also offering PSHE lessons on eating disorders and body image, that are curated and delivered by the research team. And will provide £1,000 to each school as a thank you for their participation.


– Complete an expression of interest form for Reflective Functioning and Disordered Eating Behaviours in Schools.

Watch: Overview of Reflective Functioning and Disordered Eating Behaviours in Schools

Video transcript: An overview of Reflective Functioning and Disordered Eating Behaviours in Schools

  • The PIPA Trial
    Exploring the effectiveness of an online resource for parents/carers to help prevent depression and anxiety in young people aged 11-15 years. The involvement for schools is very easy and minimal – sign a letter of agreement and send out an invitation to families via email or text.

    Those interested families will contact the PIPA team and they will take it from there. We will provide service support costs of £400 as a thank you for your school’s participation.

    Find out more about the PIPA Trial.
    – Complete an expression of interest form for the PIPA Trial.

Studies already running

  • Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP)
    Investigating whether the use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies might affect children’s cognitive and behavioural development.
    Find out more about the SCAMP study.
  • Transmission of COVID-19 in Schools Study (TraCK)
    Gathering information on the transmission rates of COVID-19 in schools.
    Find out more about TraCK.
  • Qualitative case study of how schools can be better equipped to tackle substance use challenges
    Exploring the links between school culture, mental health and substance use.

Get in touch

For further information about the Schools Research Network, or to discuss how to become involved, please contact: