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

Any comments on specific survey questions that may have caused difficulty?
Pupils at our primary school found the questionnaire very easy to understand and most of them completed the questions in less than 45min.

Teacher

"Just to say a huge thank you for all your efforts in helping us with the Health survey amongst pupils. It has provided us with significant data which will be used across the school to help us improve. It helped us to obtain a healthy schools standard as well. I hope we can make this an annual feature as we can track the changing health of our pupils." Headteacher

Headteacher

"Brilliant - thank you Angela. As always you and your team are so proficient at getting our requests dealt with so promptly - it is a real pleasure to work with such a great organisation."

Health Improvement Adviser

"This week I have been working on a major strategy for service design -- it is easy to get solely focussed on hospitals, performance targets, and work force planning -- all very important; but at the same the needs of young people and how we need to work across agencies to address the health needs of today and tomorrow must be recognised. SHEU is founded to do just this."

PCT Performance Manager

"Thank you very much, David, for another excellent survey.  We look forward to receiving our reports."

Healthy Schools Co-ordinator

"We never make a move without looking at these excellent reports." Public Health Consultant

Public Health Consultant

"The survey reports have been used to inform commissioning at specific commissioning groups. They are also being used within our Extended Schools Clusters and to inform The Annual Public Health and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment." Programme Manager - Young People

"This is amazing! Thank you." (school report)

Headteacher

"...the only question to cause a problem was 'has everyone got a pen?" Supervisor's notes following a school survey

Supervisor's Notes

"The Schools Health Education Unit is the jewel in the crown of the Health Education Authority." Major General Sir John Acland 1928 - 2006

Major General Sir John Acland