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OxWell Student Survey for Non-Mainstream Schools

The 2023 OxWell Student Survey for non-mainstream schools (specialising in SEN) is now live and will run to February 2024. We are able to offer this to schools across existing OxWell sites and will try and include any other schools interested in participating from other locations. The survey has been funded by the NIHR ARC Oxford and Thames Valley and so it incurs no cost and we can also cover the costs for any supply cover support school staff might need with the logistics of running the survey (up to £200 for 20 schools is available).

The survey gathers information on the same topic areas as the mainstream OxWell Student Survey, it is for students in years 5 to 13, and is substantially shorter and more accessible. Students should be able to complete it in one class lesson and they do not have to finish the survey for it to be meaningful for our results (as we are aware of the broad range of abilities the schools assist with). Students can be supported by a member of staff to complete the survey and each question is also accompanied by a film of the question being read aloud. There is an instructional video for students to watch in preparation for participating. The survey has 40 questions covering school experience, lifestyle, bullying and how they might like to receive support.

We hope to start to gather data to provide a picture of current wellbeing and behaviour. This will inform non-mainstream education settings specialising in SEN about the needs and experiences of their pupils and ensure the resources are targeted at areas of most need. We will use this experience to improve on this survey and welcome all feedback to ensure that the voices of these students are contributing to our understanding of the needs of current students across all settings.

How to Sign Up:

  • Step 1: Check your eligibility: Non-mainsteam schools (specialising in SEN) in Berkshire, Milton Keynes, Liverpool and Oxfordshire are eligible to take part.
  • Step 2: To sign up, please email with the subject line ‘Non-Mainstream Schools Survey

A bit about the Non-Mainstream Schools Survey

  • The survey questions address a range of issues relevant to wellbeing, including questions about life style, risks and school life. We ask about exercise, indictors of vulnerability, sleep patterns, online safety, and attitudes to accessing pastoral support.
  • Students can complete the survey with the support of a member of school staff.
  • The survey is approved by the University of Oxford Research Ethics Committee (REF: R62366).

Please see our Resources below for full information:

How will it work?

If you would like students in your school/college to take part, please sign up by emailing

The OxWell research team will then be in touch in June 2023 to send out the OxWell Participation Contract. Once this is signed and returned, a more detailed resources pack will be sent.

The survey will open from June 2023 and does not collect any identifiable data. It takes most pupils about 15 minutes and can be comfortably fitted into a lesson period.

Participating schools/colleges will receive:

A resources pack containing:

  • Letter to parents of children, so they can opt-out their child (must be sent at least one week in advance of students taking the survey).
  • Presentation about the survey for children and young people.
  • Survey URL.
  • Clear instructions for children and young people.

After the survey has been administered:

  • We will aim to provide tailored summary reports once results are ready, which can be compared with county averages. However, if only small numbers of pupils complete the survey then we are more limited in the information we can provide back to schools.

Additional Information

Your local authority, NHS and University of Oxford will have access to the results from education settings in each borough including a breakdown per school/college. This will help local services to ensure that the resources available can be targeted at areas of most need and to monitor the impact of interventions. Thematic issues identified will be used to inform strategic planning at groups including the Children and Young people’s Partnership Boards, Education Partnership Boards, and the Local Transformation Plan Group for CYP Mental Health.

For more information about how the data has been used so far please refer to the OxWell website ( where you can also find more information, including ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

We plan to repeat the survey in future years, to monitor changes influenced by intervention programmes on an individual school level but also borough-wide, such as the impact of the Mental Health Support Teams.