FAQs for parents
Do parent and carer opt outs have to be sent by post?
No, you can also request an opt out by sending your child’s name and their school name to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can call 0161 275 8512 / 0161 275 8290.
What if I change my mind about my child’s involvement?
Parents/carers are given the opportunity to withdraw their child from the online questionnaire. Your child will also be asked if they would like to take part before completing the survey. You are both free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. If, after your child has taken part, you decide that you want us to remove your child’s answers, you can contact us and ask us to delete their information. To do this, please contact email@example.com stating child’s name and their school name. Alternatively, you can call 0161 275 8512 / 0161 275 8290.
If I withdraw my child from the survey what will they do while their classmates complete it?
Guidance is given to all schools to support them in the delivery of the surveys. This includes thinking about activities for young people whose parents/carers have opted them out and young people who have decided themselves that they do not want to take part (as well as those who may finish early).
Would withdrawing my child from the survey stop them from accessing the lessons on mental health and wellbeing?
No. Your child’s school has signed up to a research project where whole classes of students may take part in lessons designed to support their mental health and wellbeing. In some schools, classes will receive support in the academic year 2022/2023. In other schools, classes will not receive lessons, but schools can get support the following year. If you choose to withdraw your child, you will just be removing them from any data collection (such as the online questionnaire) but they will still participate in school lessons.
Will my child be asked to enter any personal details during the survey?
No, pupils will log into the survey using a unique password and will not be asked to enter any personal details. However, the information that we store securely from the research does include identifiable information that allows us to link responses (same pupils at different time points) and to link this information to pupils’ characteristics (such as special educational needs). This information will only be accessible to members of the research team for data management and analysis purposes.
How will my child’s data be stored and who will have access to it?
- All information will be kept strictly confidential.
- A limited number of members of the research team will have access to the identifiable data.
- The website used by schools to access the questionnaire will be completely secure and password protected. All survey data will be stored on a secure and password protected server to which only senior members of the research team have access.
- At the end of the project the data will be linked and anonymised (so that individuals cannot be identified) - the analysis will be carried out on the anonymised data.
- All data will be collected and stored in accordance with legislation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which replaced the Data Protection Act in May 2018.
- The information may be presented at conferences or used as part of academic publications and student projects. However, no information presented will identify any individuals involved.
- We will not use the information to identify specific pupils for any reason.
Can I access the data that is collected from my child?
No, the ethical procedures for the project were approved on the basis that individual responses are not used to identify specific children in this way and that their answers are kept private. This is made clear to children and young people in class so that they understand information is kept confidentially. As part of this explanation, schools also identify members of staff young people can speak to, along with facilities and support available in the school.
How long is the data held for and when will it be deleted?
We will keep the pseudonymised information for a 3-year period while the research project is active. This means that names will be replaced by a unique number and individuals won’t be readily identifiable. This may be shared with other collaborators, including the London School of Economics, University of Liverpool and University of Dundee for analysis. After that we will change it to make individuals in the data set completely anonymous. This anonymous information may then be used for research for another 10 years. After this, the information and data will be securely destroyed.
Can parents/carers access the survey questions before agreeing for their child to participate?
If you would like to see the questions that your child will be asked to complete please get in touch with Anna Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7443 2205.
How and when will my child complete the survey?
Your child will be asked to fill out an online questionnaire (that should take no more than 40 minutes to complete) that asks questions about their school, friends, and themselves. This will be facilitated by staff at your child’s school at a time of their choosing. The children and young people will be asked to complete the same questionnaire again approximately six and twelve months later.
Is the school being paid for their involvement?
The school can claim up to £1000 to cover the cost of staff time to participate in the research, including preparing for and administering the survey. Where relevant, this will also cover staff travelling to training sessions. The payment is not dependent on schools encouraging specific children or young people to complete the survey.
Could completing the survey negatively impact the mental health of my child?
We do not believe that completing the survey will have a detrimental effect on young people. We consulted with young people and with our university ethics panel and piloted the approach with a number of schools to develop and refine the survey. When pupils are completing the survey, we ask teachers to identify support available in the school should young people feel they need it - we hope the survey also offers an opportunity to raise awareness about how young people access support if they feel low or distressed.
What support will be available to help young people complete the survey?
Schools have been provided with information to help them answer common queries that may arise from the survey, such as clarification of the meaning of particular words or phrases. Schools have also been advised that children who usually have support from a member of staff should have this available, but that the assistant should move away as the child answers the questions to ensure that answers remain confidential.