Creation of a Pilot School Health Research Network in an English Education Infrastructure to Improve Adolescent Health and Well-Being: A Study Protocol.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2022 ; 19: .
DOI : 10.3390/ijerph192013711
PubMed ID : 36294290
Schools play a significant role in promoting health and well-being and the reciprocal links between health and educational attainment are well-evidenced. Despite recognition of the beneficial impact of school-based health improvement programmes, significant barriers to improving health and well-being within schools remain. This study pilots a School Health Research Network in the South West of England (SW-SHRN), a systems-based health intervention bringing together schools, academic health researchers and public health and/or education teams in local authorities to share knowledge and expertise to improve the health and well-being of young people. A maximum of 20 secondary schools will be recruited to the pilot SW-SHRN. All students in Years 8 (age 12-13) and 10 (age 14-15) will be invited to complete a health and well-being questionnaire, generating a cohort of approximately 5000 adolescents. School environment questionnaires will also be completed with each school to build a regional picture of existing school health policies and programmes. Each school will be provided with a report summarising data for their students benchmarked against data for all schools in the network. Quantitative analysis will model associations between health risk behaviours and mental health outcomes and a qualitative process evaluation will explore the feasibility and sustainability of the network. This study will create adolescent health data to help provide schools and local authorities with timely and robust information on the health and well-being of their students and help them to identify areas in which public health interventions may be required. SW-SHRN will also help public health professionals focus their resources in the areas most at need.