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This research group is interested in understanding how best to support the mental health of children attending school. We are keen to learn about what young people need, which factors influence their wellbeing, and how they would like to access help if they have mental health difficulties. We have been running the OxWell School Survey since April 2019, with pupils completing an online survey. We work closely with schools, local authorities and mental health commissioners and services. We welcome collaborations.

Graph depicting responses from school pupils who took part in the OxWell School Survey 2020 when asked, “during lockdown, how happy have you been feeling in general (your mental wellbeing)?”. In school years 7-9 and 11, the percentage of pupils who felt better, the same, or worse were fairly divided (24%-39%). But in years 10, 12 and 13, at least 45% of pupils said that they felt worse during lockdown, and in year 12 in particular 54% said they were feeling worse while only 24% said they were feeling better.
OxWell School Survey 2020: Pupils' reported general happiness (mental wellbeing) during lockdown

OxWell STUDENT Survey (Online Pupil Survey) - 2021 Edition (Ethical Approval Reference: R62366/RE0011)

The OxWell 2021 survey will be live from 17th May until at least the end of June 2021. From May-July 2020 the OxWell School survey was completed by over 19,000 pupils in over 230 schools across six counties in the south of England. The questions asked in the survey included general mental health measures as well as questions related to how pupils were coping with the pandemic and lockdown (wellbeing and learning). Each participating school was sent a summary of their school data, and partners and schools with a sufficient number of responses were given access summaries of the data online.  Our youth advisors  prepared materials for students that were sent to all participating schools.

Summary Findings

The 2020 preliminary findings were first made available in this 2020 summary report, similar to the individual preliminary reports that were shared with participating schools and local authorities, and more recently made available as a preprint with additional background and discussion. The reports describe only a selection of the questions relevant to the impact of school closures on young people's wellbeing, but we are now running statistical analyses and preparing scientific papers investigating the role of multiple factors associated with school closures and social distancing, and how they were related to school pupils' mental health and wellbeing during the lockdowns.

The 2019 Oxfordshire OxWell School Survey findings are available in this 2019 summary report


For parents and participants over 16 years of age, please read our detailed information for parents and answers to a few frequently asked questions. Parents of pupils under 16 years of age are sent the information sheet and provided with instructions on how to opt-out by contacting the school directly.

Before logging into the survey, pupils are asked to watch a 3-minute video about the survey and how we use the data. We have a downloadable video for pupils in years 5-7, and a separate downloadable video for students in years 8-13, which we have also recorded as a YouTube video for students in years 8-13 with a brief introduction.

Ethical Approval

The OxWell Student Survey (2021) has been approved by the University of Oxford Research Ethics Committee (Reference: R62366/RE0011).

Funding Information

This project has received funding and support from the Oxford Health NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, the Oxford and Thames Valley NIHR Applied Research Collaboration, the MRC Mental Health Data Pathfinder (Oxford) and the Westminster Foundation. Extension of duplicate surveys to schools in each local authority is supported by our local authority and clinical commissioning group partners.



Our team

Selected publications

Related research themes