Foster And Brown Research


What we are up to

Online Pupil Surveys - HOME Edition

The University of Oxford Psychology researchers have commissioned us to create an online survey for pupils in lockdown. This measures the wellbeing (health and happiness) of children and young people and asks questions about life-style and school life. It will be offered to pupils from yeargroups 4 up to 13 as part of schoolwork tasks supplied by their school.

Originally planned to cover Oxfordshire, we have expanded the scope of this survey to include schools in more counties in the South West (South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol).

The project is funded by a University of Oxford Project called Pathfinder -iSAM. See more information about ISAM here (pdf). Pathfinder is aimed at gathering and integrating information from large data sets, such as "E-Cohorts", to help researchers and health professionals better understand mental health and well-being. iSAM aims to gain insight into the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents, and this survey and the more general OPS (which we hope to run later in the year when schools are fully open) will play an important role in this project.

For more information on the background to the iSAM project, you can contact Karen or Mina at or read the approved information for parents here.

For information on the Oxfordshire survey content see here. For a description of how the LodeSeeker® data tool for schools works see here.

If you are an Oxfordshire school and you want to take part in the HOME edition survey, please contact Pauline for signup details.

COVID-19 and FAB Research

All of us here at FAB are complying with the government regulations as set out on the coronavirus site. We are able to keep going due to our work being mainly online and we are making full use of virtual meeeting softwares. We hope you are all keeping safe and well.

South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire Year 6 Transition Survey

This is a message from South Gloucestershire Council: The Local Authority have commissioned Foster and Brown Research Ltd that operate the very successful Online Pupil Survey (OPS) to develop a pupil focused questionnaire for Year 6 students with a focus on transition that gives them a voice around their own education, health and well-being. The aim is that these would be completed by the students and that Secondary Schools will have a clear sense of Pupil Voice from the pupils themselves which will then support the transition process. This is an exciting piece of work, that we are developing in these unprecedented times, but if successful, we will make this an annual commitment for any child transitioning within South Gloucestershire. Sarah Godsell from the Council Public Health Team who is working closely with colleagues in Education Learning and Skills will be providing more details through our regular educational continuity newsletter and a separate email in due course.

If you are interested in this survey, please Pauline to discuss.

Online Pupil Surveys 2020

The Wiltshire Children and Young People's Health and Wellbeing Survey was closed due to the lockdown and the decision has been taken not to re-open. Over 6,000 pupils responded which in the circumstances was a pretty good total.

GSCE Safeguarding Children (Section 175) Audit 2019/2020

The new Safeguarding Audit created on behalf of the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Executive (GSCE) has been successfully used by all schools in the County.

Details about our Online surveys »  

OPS helping to understand self-harm

Gloucestershire OPS results were used as part of a study investigating the incidence of suicide and self-harm in adolescents in England - published in The Lancet 12th December 2017 - Incidence of suicide, hospital-presenting non-fatal self-harm, and community-occurring non-fatal self-harm in adolescents in England (the iceberg model of self-harm): a retrospective study Guelayov G, Casey D, McDonald K.C, Foster P, Pritchard K, Wells C, Clements C, Kapur N, Ness J, Waters K, Hawton K

More from the Oxford researchers - a new guide for parents coping with their children self-harming - you are not alone

Also developed by the researchers at the University of Oxford there is a guide for School staff: Young people who self harm: A guide for school staff

More publications:

Here's more interesting stuff »»»

Interesting stuff

Using neurodesign to influence consumer choice

As part of our collaboration with split second research, Pauline presented a very interesting talk at food matters live about how our unconscious and emotional responses to packaging influence our choice of what to buy. Her presentation can be seen here.

Building resilience

Here is a useful resource for building resilience on the Whats on your mind? site set up by the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group

Good example of school survey use

This is a really good example of how gathering data and obtaining a deep understanding of behaviour can help tackle what may appear to be intractable problems with substance abuse - read about how Iceland is stopping teen substance abuse . Our survey asks very similar questions regarding substance abuse and type of activities and our reporting software allows analysts to compare schools and identify problem areas.


A recent presentation and report on electronic cigarettes by Public Health England South West identified key messages for specialist nurses which follow the messages in this blog from Public Health England. One of the remaining questions is whether e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking in young people. One of our survey questions is attempting to gather evidence regarding this.

OPS accuracy

For those of you who are interested in the accuracy of our results, here's some figures for Gloucestershire in 2016:

Year Group Number in database % population based on NOR (as of October 2015)
Year 4 5,257 81.4%
Year 5 (new optional yeargroup) 3,613 58.0%
Year 6 4,898 79.6%
Year 8 5,428 83.3%
Year 10 5,156 81.5%
Year 12 in schools (not colleges) 2,674 76.5%

Statistically, that’s a confident interval of 0.28 at 95% confidence level or 0.36 at the 99% confidence level (this means if we repeated the survey over the entire population we would get the same results + or – 0.36% and we can be certain of this 99% of the time).