Free research to monitor pupils' wellbeing and learning needs

24 April 2020

Our partner ImpactEd is launching a national research project to help schools understand the impact of this period of disruption on their pupils' wellbeing and learning needs. It's free for schools to take part, and clearly important for some of the challenges facing the sector now. They shared these details:

Project overview

The outbreak of Covid-19 is contributing to an unprecedented level of change in our education system, with schools responding quickly to provide remote learning opportunities while also supporting pupil wellbeing and pastoral needs. ImpactEd is supporting schools in this period by: 

  • Equipping schools to understand how the current situation is influencing pupil wellbeing, social and emotional development, and most crucially, identify needs that they can address through support offered now or in terms of planning ahead for when pupils physically return to schools 
  • Collating these findings as part of a larger national research project, conducted in partnership with the University of York, to help schools understand how their results may fit into the wider national picture and support recommendations for policymakers and practitioners 

By taking part, you will develop a deeper understanding of how this period may be affecting your pupils, receive personalised reports for your school on these findings and contribute to part of a larger national research project, which we expect to include over 50,000 pupils across the country. 

This project is being run at no cost to schools: the only requirements are understanding of the project details and to fill out our expression of interest form to arrange a call with a member of our team to discuss these. 

Key details 

Over the remainder of the academic year, we will be supporting schools to monitor the following key ‘non- cognitive’ outcomes that will be crucial for their pupils over this challenging period: 

ImpactEd research project on coronavirus impact on pupils

We will be using academically developed pupil questionnaires to monitor these outcomes, enabling you to compare outcomes against a national dataset of other schools taking part in the project. Alongside this, you will have the opportunity to add custom questions relating to specific questions you may have about how pupil learning and engagement is being supported in your context. These will be conducted online using the ImpactEd platform which will enable you to easily administer this and view responses as they come in. Schools will have access to individual response data, but ImpactEd will only have access to anonymised responses to be collated as part of the larger research project. 

Alongside the pupil-facing aspects of the project, there is an optional opportunity to incorporate teacher and school leader feedback. This will be conducted through a short online questionnaire and reflective prompts asking questions on aspects such as how this period is affecting you and professional concerns and highlights. These would be gathered twice during the Summer term and once in the Autumn term. 

The project is being run across all age ranges, although focusing predominantly on KS2 in primary schools. 

Practicalities of setup and project requirements 

If taking part in this project is of interest, please fill out this short expression of interest form and a member of our team will be in touch with you to talk through the details so you can make a final decision about your participation. In terms of details to consider prior to this call, the main requirements to take part in the project would be: 

1. Ability to send online survey links to pupils and to provide support in maximising response rates. In most schools we are surveying entire year groups or whole schools, but we are happy to discuss options for involving a smaller or targeted group if that would be easier to setup. We are expecting this surveying to take place fortnightly from late April to early May. 

2. If you are not an existing ImpactEd partner, a school senior leader would be required to consent to a short agreement outlining data protection procedures for the project. ImpactEd will not have access to any personal data, which will be kept anonymous as part of this project. We may also require 10-15 minutes setup time with your best IT or MIS contact. If you are an existing ImpactEd partner, this step is not necessary. 

We will support you in making the most of this project and communicating about it as needed to parents, pupils and staff. We hope participation is of interest both to better understand the current impact and needs within your own school community, but also to inform a wider national picture as part of our larger research. 

For any general questions about the project prior to filling in the expression of interest form, please get in touch with us at Below we have provided a brief case study from an existing partner school about how the project has been put into action. 

Case study example

Evaluation questions How are our KS3 and KS4 pupils' wellbeing, meta-cognition and grit being affected by remote learning and the wider context over the summer term? Are there specific needs which we can address now or when pupils return to school?
Pupils Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
Evaluation design Pupil online self-report questionnaires on wellbeing, meta-cognition and grit, alongside questions designed  by the school on learning needs. Teachers also provide reflections and thoughts.
How is the data to be used?
  • Individual data supplied to schools so they can identify pupils struggling with wellbeing and take action
  • School questions allow them to identify specific effectiveness of resources or specific needs, which they can address 
  • Teachers and school leaders also encouraged to reflect on own wellbeing to enable broader understanding of impact on education sector
This overview of the project is available to print and share as a PDF here