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In 2021, more than 30,000 students from 180 schools in four English counties participated in the OxWell student survey, offering localised insights into the experiences of young people.

A simple map of the counties taking part in the OxWell survey

The OxWell Student Survey measures the wellbeing (health and happiness) of children and young people aged 9-18 years old. The survey is a collaboration between young people, schools, the NHS and the OxWell Study team at the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, supported by the NIHR ARC OxTV.

The annual report reveals the scope and impact of the OxWell survey, in terms of both its effects on services and care as well as more broadly, even internationally.

 The research generated by the survey is now being used at a national, local and school level to help provide valuable insights into what students need, which factors influence their wellbeing and how they would like to access help if they have mental health difficulties.

The survey covers many issues for young people including access to support, mental wellbeing, lifestyle, school experience, relationships, and vulnerable behaviour.

The data is then made accessible to over 145 schools and Local Authority partners and is informing service planning including Liverpool Education Plan.

The project publications gain widespread media coverage and their innovative dissemination through TikTok and Instagram ensure the young people access and influence the outcomes of the project.

Building on the data collected in 2019 and 2020, significant progress has been made, particularly in expanding the survey into new areas.

The crucial next step for the project is to respond to what young people have told them by providing the kinds of support that young people want and need, supported by professionals and their local communities.

The project intends to use the dataset to carry out much more research and will work closely with young people and partners to continue to maximise its impact.