Online survey: clear, friendly, responsive

Responses from questionnaires are stored in our databanks

Pupils and students can still complete on paper, if you prefer

Questionnaires are fetched by secure courier and logged in the SHEU offices

Questions are composed collaboratively with clients and designed with the pupils and students in mind

FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions - Parents and Carers

This document was written by Cambridgeshire PSHE team to help parents and carers understand more about the lifestyle survey being carried out in schools.
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS and CARERS
Why does the survey ask for our postcode and does this mean we can be identified?
The postcode can not identify individual homes and is only used to look at the information about young people's health in local communities. This is very useful for the health authority (NHS Cambridgeshire) who need information to help them target their resources and support most effectively. Schools, too, can work with their Locality Teams to identify parts of their communities which may need extra support and care.
More about postcodes: /content/page/parentcarer-email-about-postcodes
Why is my child asked if they have free school meals?
The government has set Cambridgeshire tough targets to reduce inequalities in health and achievement for young people. We know that, generally speaking, young people from homes with lower than average incomes may achieve less well and have more problems in terms of their health and wellbeing, although, clearly, this is not always the case. The government's chosen indicator for this group of young people is those who have free school meals and there are plans and programmes to give them and their families additional support. Being able to look at the survey information for this group of young people in our communities can help us see if these programmes are really helping and judge what more could and should be done.
Won't some questions upset and worry my child?
Young people are always told that they do not have to answer any questions with which they are uncomfortable and most of the more sensitive questions have a "Rather not say" option. Young people are reassurred that, although important, the survey is not an "exam" or "test" of them. It is carefully explained that the information will help improve services designed for them. Our experience is that young people find the survey and the areas it covers interesting and stimulating for discussion.
Why are young people asked for their height and weight?
There is a government led programme in place to reduce obesity in young people and encourage healthy eating and exercise This is a sensitive issue for individual young people and their families. This information will help health professionals see if there are links between young people who are over or under weight for their age and other health issues and behaviour: for example, the number of young people who eat breakfast before coming to school in the morning. This will help them judge what approaches might make a difference in providing sensitive support for young people and families.
Is the survey reliable? Surely some young people will lie?
Yes some probably will. But we take a lot of trouble to stress the importance of honest answers and this is reinforced by emphasising that the survey is genuinely anonymous. Even if some do lie, the size of the sample means that it would take a lot of young people to lie in one way to change the results.
Is this just more information that will end up in a computer somewhere never to be seen again?
We are a busy and fully committed school and we would not give our staff and pupils any more work to do if we didn't feel it was of real benefit to us and what we do. We know this information will help us meet the needs of our young people and their families better. Also we are committed to sharing it with you to support our partnership of care for young people. Young people who are worried will be directed towards further support and advice if they wish.

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Comments about SHEU

"The Schools Health Education Unit has gained a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of information about young people's health." BBC

BBC

I think the HRBQ is an absolutely wonderful, informative tool and I am keen to really encourage schools/other relevant partners (as appropriate) to utilise this invaluable data to encourage voice of the child, and subsequently contribute to shaping priorities and services.

Senior Health Improvement Practitioner (Children and Young People)

 “The (SHEU survey) helped us to prioritise where we needed to be in terms of PSHE education. We delivered assemblies based on the evidence as well as curriculum development, and dealt with whole school issues – particularly in regard to pastoral care. The answers received to the question on the survey “Who are you most likely to approach if you needed help” worried staff as “teacher” was not a popular answer. Subsequently the staff asked themselves why this had happened and what needed to be done to address the issue. There was more emphasis on wider aspects of PSHE education delivery, which needed more attention.

To summarise, the (SHEU survey) allows the PSHE department to assess the impact of teaching and learning and modify future lessons accordingly. It allows our school to look at whole school issues such as the extent to which the pastoral care system is meeting the needs of our pupils. It helps us to do need analysis of our pupils. It helps to provide important evidence for SEF / the extent to which we are meeting wellbeing indicators / National Healthy School standards.”  

Secondary School Head

Thank you for following up with schools the comments that caused concern. It is very sad to hear that some of our children have these thoughts and feelings and I am so grateful that you were able to make the schools aware of this so that they can attempt to offer some support.

This is another reason why I am so pleased that we have been able to work with you to offer this survey.

Health and Wellbeing Adviser

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

Healthy Schools Co-ordinator

"Many thanks for a major contribution to the health of children in the UK and elsewhere over many years and putting in place the continuation of the Unit." Tribute from a Director of Public Health to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Director of Public Health

"I would like to say how much we appreciated the work you and your team have put in to this project, a big thank you for the excellent reports that you have completed on our behalf." Assistant Director of Public Health

Assistant Director of Public Health

My school took part in the Health Survey last year and found it incredibly beneficial. It has been an invaluable tool for planning our PSHE/well being provision and actioning our school development plan.

Primary School Wellbeing Lead

"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

“(The SHEU survey) was very, very useful. It gave us reassurance we weren’t missing a trick. For example not many pupils in the sample year groups were taking illegal drugs, which re-enforced our opinions. But the survey also raised issues and flagged some things up. We discovered that some of our girls weren’t eating enough – the percentage of girls in our school not eating lunch the day before the survey was higher than the county average. There were other concerns too, specifically around cigarettes, alcohol and attendance.
The school used this data and took a number of actions to address it. More female peer mentors were put in place and the school asked NEXUS (the Extended Schools service) for help, so they developed a programme for girls which addressed their eating patterns, healthy eating, sex education and self-esteem issues.
We ran an anti-bullying group for Year 9 as a preventative measure, based upon data provided by our current Year 10 students.
The travel data revealed that a high number of pupils took the car to school so we involved the BIKE-IT scheme who ran assemblies, brought in their bikes (including one with a pedal-powered smoothie maker!), and raised awareness of health and green issues.
The information about how happy the students were with their lives raised some concerns as far fewer girls were as happy as the boys, so work was done around developing aspirations, role-models and self-esteem."        
 

Deputy Head, Secondary School