Information for Schools

Who is doing the research?

The research is funded by the Australian Research Council and is being conducted by UNSW in partnership with the NSW Department of Education, The Smith Family and the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People.

Why is the study important?

The study is the first of its kind in Australia that will use measures/indicators of social advantage and disadvantage among young people in NSW based on what young people themselves see as necessary for young people to live a ‘normal kind of life’. Other studies have asked parents and other adults what they think young people need.

What is this study about?

The survey will ask young people about the things that they have and do, and – if they don’t have or do them, whether or not they would like to. It will also ask young people about their overall well-being and life satisfaction. The study’s findings will produce new insights into the nature of young people’s well-being and disadvantage that will assist schools, the government and service providers to better design and deliver what young people need.

What will my school be asked to do?

Phase 2 of the study will take place in Term 3 2016. Schools invited to participate will be asked to recruit two or more classes of students in Years 7 to 10 to complete a survey. It will take students 25 to 30 minutes to complete.

If you decide to take part in the research, we would require the following assistance in recruiting and administering the survey questionnaire in Term 3, 2016. Should you choose to participate we will provide a Checklist for all staff members administering the questionnaire.

  • Distribute Information Statements to parents/guardians and students.
  • It is an opt-out process so there are no consent forms to be returned. However, parents/guardians have the opportunity to withdraw their child from the study if they wish so withdrawal forms returned by parents/guardians opting out will need to be collected.
  • Decide on a class time suitable for students to complete the questionnaire in Term 3.
  • Help to promote the study to parents and students at your school through your website, newsletter, email or social media outlets.
  • Supervise the completion of the questionnaire and respond to any questions students might have based on the information we provide you.
  • Ensure students understand that the study is voluntary and it is okay to opt-out.
  • Collect and return the completed questionnaires to us in a pre-paid envelope provided.

Will my school get anything for participating?

If you decide to participate, your school will go in a draw to win a prize valued at $2000 to spend toward your school.

Does my school have to participate?

Taking part in the research is voluntary. If you decide not to take part, your decision will in no way affect your relationship with UNSW, the NSW Department of Education, The Advocate for Children and Young People, or The Smith Family.

What will happen with the information?

A summary of the findings will be given to your school if you choose to participate. Your school, and its staff and students will not be identified in any publications of findings from the study.

What if some students in my school don’t want to participate?

If your school agrees to participate, each student invited can decide for themselves whether or not they would like to participate. The study follows an opt-out process so it is important that students and parents understand what participation means, and are given the opportunity to opt-out if they wish. Students can opt-out at any point until the hand in the completed questionnaire to the classroom teacher.

What if I have concerns about the project?

This study has been reviewed and approved by the NSW Department of Education SERAP (2015370) and the UNSW Human Research Ethics Committee (HC15832).

If you have any complaints or concerns about the project please email humanethics@unsw.edu.au or phone +61 2 9385 622.

I want my school to participate. What should I do?

If you are willing to participate in this important project, or have any questions, please complete and return the School Agreement Form (PDF) [77 Kb], which was sent to you by the research team.

You can also contact us for more information.