History

SHEU : nationally-recognised, since 1977,
as the specialist provider of reliable local survey data for schools and colleges

 
Committed to school and college surveys
SHEU includes the Schools and Students Health Education Unit. We provide lifestyle surveys, research and publishing services for those working with young people. We work with a wide range of professionals involved in the planning, providing and commissioning of health and education in the UK and overseas. SHEU was founded in 1977 by John Balding in the School of Education, University of Exeter. In 1997, we moved to offices in Exeter and became an independent research and publishing unit. In 2012, we celebrated 35 years of providing information about young people's health and wellbeing. SHEU is nationally-recognised as the specialist provider of reliable local survey data for schools and colleges
Information for business partners and colleagues
SHEU is an independent organisation that concentrates on school and college surveys. SHEU now offers a range of survey, research and evaluation services to all those concerned with the health and social development of young people. The core of our survey work is the Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire (HRBQ) survey method, which has been used by secondary schools for over 30 years, by primary schools and, more recently, in FE & 6th Form Colleges. These surveys produce a detailed profile of young people's life at home, at school/college, and with their friends. This information is then used by health authorities to inform health needs assessment and health care planning, and by schools/colleges to promote health education programmes, as well as in class work across the curriculum. To date, SHEU has supported thousands of health-related behaviour surveys involving over a million young people. The data are anonymous, and so no individual participant's responses are attributable. They can be presented in forms suitable for use by health authorities, education authorities, community workers, school/college staff, governors, parents, and the students themselves. The original motivation for the survey work was to provide teachers with an objective picture of the lifestyles of the students in their charge, so that they might better plan and provide a curriculum in personal, social and health education. Since its inception, the uses of the survey data and services provided by SHEU have greatly expanded. Teachers have found uses for the data in direct classroom teaching. Health authorities have become interested in the data for monitoring and planning. To match this wider use, the variety of reporting and presentational services for schools/colleges has been greatly enhanced. In recent years SHEU's major customers have been health authorities, but we have increasingly become involved in surveys funded by local consortia drawn from education and health.
Our Research
The survey service is itself a research exercise, enabling communities to discover and debate their current situation, but we also engage in research in its more formal sense. We undertake ad hoc survey and evaluation investigations for education and health authorities, and provide a survey design and data-processing service for other researchers. The use of the surveys by schools/colleges results in an accumulation of information in SHEU's databanks, some of which is used to compile the Young People series of annual reports and the 'Trends' reports. As well as this descriptive information, the databanks are also a substantial resource for more focused research investigations: for example, to demonstrate links between health-risky behaviours and family or personality factors.
Our publications
SHEU's major publications include the three, monthly health and wellbeing research emails, which are widely subscribed to, the journal Education and Health, a quarterly publication which started in 1983, the 'Young People' series (the first of which was 'Young People in 1986'), the 'Trends' data series and SHEUBytes: nuggets of information supplemented with Internet links. Other monographs on particularly important or current topics have been produced over the years, and these have included alcohol, illicit drugs, bullying, weapons, dental care and mental health. We are an important resource for Education and Health professionals and journalists for all aspects of health education.

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Comments about SHEU

"Over the last twenty years you have achieved much. The surveys and subsequent reports have painted the clearest picture we have of what young people are doing and what they think." OFSTED 1998

OFSTED

We were all very impressed with the spreadsheet and can see that an incredible amount of work has gone into creating this!

Health Improvement Specialist

At the time, the results were very useful and the feedback report very useful and insightful. Significant changes will occur in our schools health and wellbeing provision next year and conducting another survey will certainly help me to ensure I am planning effectively for the needs of our pupils.

Head of Health and Wellbeing

I would just like to say thank you very much to Angela, yourself and all of the SHEU team for making the [survey] so successful. The survey has been well received and we are using data in new ways to help support work on local Public Health priorities.

Senior Public Health Specialist

"You and the team have the evidence to show how young people's behaviour has or hasn't changed over time." 
Tribute from a Health Education Co-ordinator to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Health Education Co-ordinator

I would be extremely interested to see the results as I know how useful this information has been to the other schools in the
borough

Headteacher

"We are planning next year's programmes around this information." Health Education Adviser

Health Education Adviser

"The Unit is to be congratulated in preparing ... material of the highest standard and worthy of wide dissemination." National Association for Environmental Education

National Association for Environmental Education

"Every school involved in the National Healthy School programme should start with an HRBQ survey." Health Education Co-ordinator

Health Education Co-ordinator

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your work regarding writing and compiling the sex education survey. The survey was well executed and the schools have found their individual reports very helpful. The results of the survey have enabled the Local Campaign Group to justify the need for young men's campaigns and given us invaluable insight as to the thoughts and experiences of this target group."

Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Manager