Focus groups in school – information video and consent form

Hello and welcome!

This webpage hosts a short video explaining the research project we are doing and what it involves. Please watch the video below and then complete the form below that will ask you if you are happy to consent to take part or consent for your child to take part in our project. If you are the person with parental responsibility, there is also a chance for you to share your views with us about support for your child’s mental health and wellbeing in school on the form if you wish.

Patient Information Sheet

You can download the information below as a PDF 

Presented by Sarah-Jane: Introduction and describing the study

Hello, my name is Sarah-Jane and I work with my manager Dr Jo Ellins at the University of Birmingham. I am working in a team of researchers, and we are doing a project on schools. Our project is trying to find out how a young person might get support in school with their mental health and wellbeing. We have chosen your school as one of the places to help us find this out. We want to ask you about how your school supports you to manage your feelings. 

We are doing our project because your school has got a new way to support young people. This project is being done because two important parts of the government called The Department for Education and the Department of Health, want to find know if their new way of supporting pupils is helpful. They want to know what is working or not working, and what you are finding helpful or unhelpful about support with wellbeing for young people in schools. 

We have made this video with our Youth Advisory Group here at the University of Birmingham, and they will now give you all the information about our project.

Presented by Ronan: What will taking part involve? (YAG members)

Some of the staff from Jo’s team are coming to your school because we need help to understand how your school supports you to manage your feelings and with your wellbeing.

The people coming to see you will be researchers who work at a university, and the researcher may be accompanied by a young person like me. We would like to know about who helps you with this in your school.

We would like to talk to you and some other young people from your school in small groups of up to 8 young people. We would like to ask you questions like “who can you talk to in school if you feel sad or unhappy?”. 

If you are happy to help us, you will have to meet in a small group to chat about your school. There are no right or wrong answers and everything you say is important and will help us understand better. We are interested in what you have to say. 

Meeting up with us will not take longer than one lesson and will happen in your school or online. One of Jo’s team (who have popped up on your screen now) will come and chat to the group and ask some questions. 

We will use a voice recorder so that we can make some notes about what we talked about in the group. We won’t keep the recording once we have made the notes. 

You do not have to join in if you do not want to and even if you change your mind just before the group is starting you do not have to come to the group if you do not want to. You just have to tell your teacher that you no longer want to take part. 

If you are a bit nervous about speaking in a group but you still want to tell us what you think, we can arrange to talk to you on your own if that feels easier.

Presented by Ronan: How will you make me feel safe?

When we talk to you, we will make notes about what we talk about in the group so that the people working on our project can look back later and think about what everyone has said. We will not tell anyone about the things that you tell us or show anyone our notes unless we are worried about you. 

We will not talk to other people about what you have said – so we will not talk to other children, your friends, your family or your teachers. However, if you tell us something that worries us about you or someone else like someone has hurt you – we may need to speak to the person who is responsible for safeguarding in your school.  

The reason we won’t talk about what you tell us unless we are concerned about you, is so that you can be honest and not worry that people will find out what you have said.

Presented by Beckye: Agreeing to take part

If you want to take part in our project, we will ask both you and your parent or the person with parental responsibility for you, to say yes to taking part using our online form. To access the online form please click on the link or use the QR code below. 

If you are not able to do this yourself, you can ask your parent or the person with parental responsibility for you to help you with this. If you are under 16 years old, your parents or the person with parental responsibility for you will need to agree for you to take part in our project by filling out the online form. 

In the online form there are four options and you need to choose one of these:

  • The first option says “Yes I would like to take part”
  • The second option says “No I do not want to take part”
  • The third option says “I would like to be contacted to discuss this and ask questions first”
  • The fourth option says “I want to speak to someone on my own instead of joining a group” 

If you want to be part of the project but don’t want to talk to us in a group, we can speak to you on your own if that would feel better. You just need to let us know when you agree to take part what you would prefer. 

You can ask questions before you agree to take part, or at any time up until we have finished the project by clicking on the link below and sending us a question. 

If you are not happy and want to complain about the project, you can do that online below too.

Although you are being asked to agree to take part online, we are not sure yet if we will be coming into school or meeting you online. Just before we start the group, we will check again and ask you to say you are still happy to take part in case you have changed your mind. 

Presented by Beckye: If you no longer want to be in the project after you have been to a group in school

If you have been in our group chatting about things and then you decide afterwards that you don’t want what you have said to be part of the project, that’s fine – you can let us know up to two weeks after we have run the group in school. You can let us know online using the website, by e-mail, or by telling your teacher. We then won’t look at the notes we made about what you said in the group or use any of the things you have said.

Presented by Beckye: After taking part – what happens next?

Once you have taken part, our team will have a think about what you and all the other young people who joined a group to talk with us have said. We will look at the notes we wrote down about what you said. We will compare this with notes we make in other schools and we will use this to come up with some ideas to give back to government. Your being part of a group will help us decide about what is working and not working, and understand what is helpful or unhelpful about the new way schools are working to support mental health.

Presented by Jamie: If you no longer want to be in the project after you have been to a group in school

If you have been in our group chatting about things and then you decide afterwards that you don’t want what you have said to be part of the project, that’s fine – you can let us know up to two weeks after we have run the group in school. You can let us know online using the website, by e-mail, or by telling your teacher. We then won’t look at the notes we made about what you said in the group or use any of the things you have said. 

Presented by Jamie: After taking part – what happens next?

Once you have taken part, our team will have a think about what you and all the other young people who joined a group to talk with us have said. We will look at the notes we wrote down about what you said. We will compare this with notes we make in other schools and we will use this to come up with some ideas to give back to government. Your being part of a group will help us decide about what is working and not working, and understand what is helpful or unhelpful about the new way schools are working to support mental health.

Thank you for watching

Consent form

A QR code for the Trailblazers survey


If you have any questions about this research project please e-mail the project team leader Dr Jo Ellins: j.l.ellins@bham.ac.uk 

If you are unhappy and wish to complain about anything, please contact the Director of Research in the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham: Dr Iestyn Williams i.p.williams@bham.ac.uk 

Thank you so much for your time.

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