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By participating in the annual OxWell Student Survey you can acquire valuable data about the wellbeing (health and happiness) and needs of your pupils, as well as contributing to our ongoing research in this field. 

The 2023 online survey is anonymous and exists in two age-appropriate versions, for pupils in Years 5 & 6 and Years 7 – 13 (including FE). Designed to be engaging and easy for pupils to use,  the questions take most pupils about 30 minutes to complete and can be comfortably fitted into a lesson period. 

The 2023 survey is live from 21st February 2023 until 21st March 2023.

Sign Up

Sign up for OxWell 2023 is now closed.

What are the benefits of participating in the OxWell Student Survey?

By measuring pupil wellbeing, the OxWell survey allows schools to build an understanding of the wider school context beyond statutory academic data. The data provided by OxWell can help inform regular, reflective evaluation and assessment of your pupils’ needs. It will also help you to ensure the support you are putting in place is led by those needs.

Participating can help your students by allowing you to: 

  • provide a powerful vehicle for pupil voice, allowing students to share their insights and adding value to existing youth-voice mechanisms, such as youth councils 
  • find out what pupils are feeling direct from them using validated measures to assess their mental health, reliance and emotional wellbeing
  • gain improved understanding of the wellbeing and mental health needs of your pupils (and how these needs change over time) to help with a whole school or college approach to mental health 
  • plan your approach to mental health and wellbeing, the curriculum, PSHE and Healthy Schools work more effectively, so you can meet the identified needs of your pupils better
  • compare the results for your school/college to other areas so you can identify success and strengths but also the areas you need to focus on  
  • allocate resources to meet students’ needs and identify opportunities for developing and evaluating school-based mental health promotion, prevention and treatment interventions, including from Mental Health Support Teams, the Educational Psychology service and Youth Counselling

What will my school/college receive?

Once you have signed up, and returned the participation agreement, the OxWell research team will send your school/college an information and resources pack including the following (all approved by University of Oxford Research Ethics Committee):

  • a letter to parents – this must be sent to all parents of under-16 year olds one week in advance of the survey giving them the opportunity to opt out on behalf of their child
  • a PowerPoint presentation to share directly with children and young people 
  • a link to the survey with your school/college ID and password 
  • clear instructions for pupils about what they need to do to complete the survey

After the survey has been administered and once the results are ready, you will receive:

  • A summary report of your school’s results, which can be compared with the county averages from this year and last year (you will not be able to identify other schools/colleges).  
  • Access to your data online via the digital platform called Lodeseeker. You will be able to: see your data online; compare your results online to the county average from this year and last year (without being able to identify other schools); generate automatic reports (e.g., for Ofsted); and identify areas where pupils most need support. 
  • Additional training to help your school/college make the best use of its data. 

How can my school/college make sure it gets the most out of participating in the OxWell survey?

For any educational setting organising a large-scale survey or questionnaire, it is important to have a procedure in place to maximise opportunities for student participation and ensure the resulting data is as meaningful as possible. Below are some simple tips and guidelines to ensure your school’s successful participation in the OxWell survey.

Delivering the survey:

  1. Make sure that all staff across the whole educational setting understand the purpose of the survey and what the intended outcomes will be. Do this through briefings, staff meetings and line management to ensure buy in.
  2. Ensure that all pupils, staff and other stakeholders know how the survey works, as clarity is paramount to ensure participation and consent is agreed. Again, this promotes buy in.
  3. Meet with the team of staff (often pastoral) that will be driving the survey forward to get their views and ideas. Discuss strategies and plan a structured timeline. This promotes ownership and avoids any short-sighted decisions made in isolation that could become barriers to success.
  4. Use assemblies, posters and email communications to promote the survey with students, explaining the purpose and value of participation. Promote the benefits of positive wellbeing and the vision of a more healthy, supportive community as a result.
  5. Give students very clear deadlines for completion. Clarity and communication increase participation numbers. We found giving students reasonably short completion periods (Tuesday launch to Friday deadline) supports this.
  6. Give a second deadline for completion for students. State it has been extended and not to miss out. This gains some additional students who may have missed the first deadline.

Using the data to bring about positive change:

  1. Upon completion, use the data to target the groups you wish to focus on. Don’t get overwhelmed with the magnitude of what the data presents. Streamline the data and focus on well-defined, manageable areas.
  2. Interrogate the data. Work with the team driving the survey forward and identify key trends, then devise strategies tailored to specific groups (gender, year, etc.) to maximise impact.
  3. Monitor the implemented interventions and adapt them to ensure maximum impact and support. Being able to adapt and evolve is essential if interventions are to be successful.
  4. Get student, staff and parental feedback. The only people who will actually know whether an intervention is making a difference to wellbeing are the people involved. Listen to them and then plan future interventions based on this information.

Learn more about running the survey

Watch our short video about the logistics of running the 2023 OxWell survey in schools, including:

– Key dates;
– Guidance from a school that participated previously;
– Top 5 tips for delivering the survey.

How can I access my school’s data?

Survey results are available to view on the Lodeseeker portal, and we will share more information on this (such as logging in and using the dashboard) in due course. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the data or further analysis, please contact the research team at


Q: Do all pupils in the school complete the survey?

A: In primary schools, only pupils in Years 5 and 6 complete the survey. For schools with secondary aged pupils, the survey is for all year groups from Year 7 to Year 13 (inclusive). For FE colleges, students in Years 12 and 13 take part.

Q: How long does the survey stay live?

A: The 2023 survey will be live directly after half term, from 21st February until 21st March 2023.

Q: Can the survey be completed on a mobile phone?

A: We recommend that the survey is accessed on a desktop computer, a laptop or a tablet device. We do not recommend using a mobile phone to access the survey, as the functionality may suffer.

Q: Do we need parental permission to run the survey?

A: We supply a parental opt-out letter that must be sent to all parents of under 16s at least a week before the survey is carried out. Please email if you need to this to be re-sent to you.

Q: How can we explain the survey to parents if they ask?

A: Here is some suggested wording if parents ask to know more about the survey:

Children in years xxxxx (amend as necessary) are taking part in a survey being conducted on behalf of [local authority name] through the University of Oxford. The survey provides an opportunity for pupils to voice their opinions on different health and wellbeing themes and have some influence on the future provision of health and wellbeing resources. Our school will get feedback on our pupils’ school experience and useful information for future Ofsted inspections. The survey is conducted to collect averages of children’s behaviour and no directly identifying information, such as names, emails or addresses, is taken. In addition, we take extensive precautions to ensure pupils cannot be identified. We look forward to sharing the information with parents/carers later in the year when the data has been analysed.

Q: Can I look at the survey before the pupils?

A: Yes. For teachers or other staff wishing to look at the survey before pupils, please follow these steps once you have received your school’s log in details:

  • Enter the test ‘user ID’ and ‘password’ provided to you.
  • In the ‘Year Group’ drop-down box, select the correct Year Group for your setting (i.e. Year 5 or 6 for Primary, Year 7 – 11 for Secondary, Year 12 & 13 for FE).

Q: Do I need to test the link to the survey before I get the students to complete it?

A: Yes, it’s very important to make sure you test the link to make sure it’s working before you embark on completing the survey with your class.

Q: Is the survey anonymous?

A: Students cannot be identified and are not asked personal identifying information such as their name, where they live, etc. When your students complete the survey, please do not have them working in pairs and ask them not to look at what other students are doing.

Q: Do I need to let the IT Support Team in my school/college know about the survey?

A: Yes, please let your IT Support Team know about the survey, so they can make sure your firewall is not blocking the survey and please ask your IT manager to whitelist it. They will need to know the URL is  and this is the same for each page.

Some schools may have a safety mechanism where key words trigger a screenshot of the pupil’s device. There are a number of words within the survey that may trigger this. Can you please ensure it is disabled for the survey, and please inform your pupils that it has been disabled.

Q: Why is the link to the survey not working?

A: If the link is not working, please check you are using http or https and not www. If the link is still not working, it may be blocked or filtered by your school’s IT security – please ask the IT administrator to help. If they are not able to resolve the problem, please contact us at

Q: What happens if there is an internet failure?

A: Internet failure – because of the anonymous nature of the survey we do not provide individual logins for children and young people, this means if the connection to the internet fails it is not possible to return to an individual’s survey response by logging back in (the survey will have to be started again from the beginning).  However, if the internet fails there is usually a message on the browser that says ‘you are not connected to the internet’ after the survey button has been clicked (this is usually the first indication that the signal has failed).  Clicking the browser back button will get the last page of the survey back.  So long as a page of the survey is still displayed in the browser and nothing is touched until an internet connection is re-established, the survey can be continued – although if the delay is for many hours, the survey connection itself will time out in which case there is nothing to be done except start the survey again.  Please let us know if you have to re-start a batch of students so we can remove the uncompleted surveys from the database.

Q: How long will it take for pupils to complete the survey?

A: The survey takes around 30 minutes to complete. You also need to allow time to start up and login. If using laptops, please ensure in advance they are all charged or plugged in and connected to WIFI throughout if using remotely. The survey works very well on iPads and tablets.

Q: Do pupils complete the survey at their own pace?

A: Yes. However, primary teachers have found it useful to go through the first section of demographic questions as a class activity. This allows the teacher to ensure that questions about ethnicity, being a looked after child and whether their family is supported by a social worker can be clarified, although each child still answers privately and anonymously. (Once the class reach the breakfast question, children are usually able to continue answering independently).

Q: Do the pupils log in themselves?

A: Yes. You will need to write up the user name and password for the pupils to see. Please ensure that all pupils start the survey using the blue login page so that they enter the correct year group. They may need to close and re-open the browser if other pupils have been doing the survey on the same computer.

Q: The user ID and/or password won’t work – what should I do?

A: Please remind pupils to check the caps lock is off as the password is all in lower case. The user ID and password is the same for all pupils in your school/college.

Q: I’ve lost/forgotten our school user ID and password – can I call someone to get them?

A: Yes, please call 01285 700759.

Q: Can the pupils stop and carry on at another time?

A: No, the survey needs to be completed in one session.

Q: Can the pupils leave out a question and move on to the next one?

A: Yes, and this is preferable to them giving a false or untrue answer. If pupils are in doubt, they should be reminded that their answers cannot be traced back to them; the survey is anonymous.

Q: How much does it cost to take part?

A: The survey is FREE to schools and colleges (including primaries, secondaries, sixth forms, FE colleges and independents) in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Liverpool. The local authority, public health or NHS in these areas have commissioned the survey for schools and colleges.

Q: What extra help, if any, should we put in place for our pupils around the time they complete the survey, in case the questions bring support-needs to light?

A: We recommend that during the window when your pupils/young people complete the survey you work with staff within your school (such as Heads of Year or Pastoral Leads) or college (i.e. Student Welfare Leads / Advisors) and external staff (i.e. Educational Psychologists / Youth Counselling Team / Mental Health Support Team) to ensure there is the opportunity for young people to be able to speak to a trusted adult.
Ideally, this would be someone in the school/college or linked to it. The support made available could be something as simple as offering after-school or lunch-time drop-ins and/or extended discussion time and signposting in class. In previous years of the survey, some pupils/young people have approached the staff member present in the room, while others have gone to their Form Takers or Heads of Year. This is very dependent on the pupil/young person, their problem and the relationships they have in school/college. But it may help to let them know that staff are aware of the survey, so they can approach the right adult for them.

Before completing the survey, pupils/young people are also shown a short presentation about the questions. This includes information about sources of support.

Q: Can special schools do the survey?

A: We are working on creating a tailored special schools survey, which might be more appropriate for your school. We are aiming to have it ready in summer 2023. Please email if your school would like to take part in this, or would like to discuss further.

 Additional information

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018 (Foster and Brown Research Ltd)

Foster and Brown Research Ltd. are committed to GDPR compliance and we have a compliant ICT structure, including the use of GDPR compliant Microsoft Office365 and external hosting and technical support by Business Computer Solutions Ltd, Ramsgate.  We are registered under the current Data Protection Act, our registration reference is Z7767482.