Find below some frequently asked questions related to the ‘Oxford Wellbeing Measurement Component’ created and administered by the Wellbeing Research Centre in partnership with the International Baccalaureate.

Q1: What is the ‘Oxford Wellbeing Measurement Component’ mentioned in the letter?

  • The ‘Oxford Wellbeing Measurement Component’ is a pilot project within the International Baccalaureate Organization’s larger wellbeing project. It is intended to explore wellbeing data collection in schools, contribute to a greater understanding of wellbeing measurement globally, and provide insights into the state of wellbeing of young people around the world.


Q2: What is the purpose of the study?

  • The study aims to explore various ways adolescent wellbeing data is collected, understood, and measured internationally. It is conducted by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford.


Q3: Who has approved the research?

  • The research has received ethics approval from a subcommittee of the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee (Ethics reference: R90787/RE001).


Q4: How many schools globally are expected to participate in the research study?

  • Around 250 schools globally have expressed interest in participating, with an expected response from between 7,000 and 250,000 pupils.


Q5: Is participation in the research study mandatory for schools?

  • No, participation in the research study is voluntary for schools. The decision to participate, the number of participants, and the scope (one class, a partial/whole year group, several partial/whole year groups, or the whole school) are left to the discretion of the headteachers and research leads.


Q6: Is participation in the research study mandatory for students?

  • No, participation in the research study is voluntary for students. Students do not have to take part if they do not wish to do so, and their decision will not adversely affect them in any way.


Q7: Can the school decide the number of participants?

  • Yes, the school can decide whether to complete the questionnaires with any groups of students. Ideally the data collection would be offered to whole year groups or the whole school. The recommended approach is to involve the entire student body as this will produce richer data.


Q8: What does participation involve for the school?

  • The school, particularly the Headteacher/Principal/School Leader, needs to read the information pack and consent to participate. The headteacher (or equivalent), or the school’s internal Research Lead, will be asked to complete a small questionnaire about the school. The school’s internal research lead (who is chosen by the school from within their own staff) will be asked to coordinate data collection sessions, distribute information letters to teachers, and ensure opt-out forms are managed appropriately.


Q9: How is confidentiality ensured?

  • All data collected are anonymized at the point of collection, ensuring the privacy and protection of participants’ identities. Personally identifiable information is not collected, and the researchers only receive school-level information.


Q10: What if students or parents wish to opt-out?

  • Parents and students have the opportunity to opt-out from the data collection. The school may also choose to opt-out particular students, if needed. Again, the decision to participate or not will not affect students adversely.


Q11: How are concerns raised by pupils during data collection addressed?

  • Teachers play a vital role in ensuring a supportive environment for students who express concerns or distress. Teachers should actively listen, offer a compassionate space, and, if necessary, follow school protocols to provide additional support. If a student discloses something to you during the data collection, again, work within your school’s usual policies and practices to support the student. Please ensure that the school’s internal Research Lead is kept informed of any issues or concerns raised by pupils. Additionally, you may wish to consider approaching parents or guardians, where appropriate and within your school’s usual policies and practices. Adhering to school protocols is crucial, and teachers should follow established procedures, protocols, and policies, to ensure that the necessary school staff or administrators are informed of any relevant information.


Q12: What about data protection and ownership?

  • The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) owns the data and will store and transfer it to the University of Oxford research team. The University of Oxford is the data controller and processes the data for research purposes.


Q13: How will the collected data be used?

  • The collected data will contribute to a greater understanding of adolescent wellbeing internationally. Schools will not be ranked or rated based on their wellbeing responses. The focus is on creating global datasets to support schools with wellbeing data collection, insights, and interventions. The results not including any individual information may be published in peer-reviewed journal or academic conferences.


Q14: Who has access to the research data during the project?

  • Access to research data is restricted to the International Baccalaureate Organization and authorized members of the research team, including the principal investigator, co-investigators, and designated research assistants. Data access is granted on a need-to-know basis.


Q15: How is participant confidentiality ensured?

  • All data collected are anonymized at the point of collection, and no personally identifiable information is linked to the data. The researchers only have access to school-level information, ensuring the privacy and protection of participants’ identities. Teachers are also instructed to give pupils as much privacy as possible during the data collection.


Q16: What are the benefits of participating in the research study?

  • Benefits include contributing to the understanding of adolescent wellbeing, potentially leading to improved educational practices and policies. Schools will receive a summary of wellbeing outcomes, but individual-level outcomes will not be included.


Q17: Is there a risk associated with participating in the research study?

  • No anticipated disadvantages or risks are foreseen in participating in the data collection and teachers who lead the data collection are advised to promote open communication of any questions or challenges to school staff.


Q18: What rights do participants have regarding their personal data?

  • Participants have rights with respect to their personal data, and further information about these rights is available from https://compliance.web.ox.ac.uk/individual-rights. Note, no individual identifiable data will be collected in this study.


Q19: How is the research study aligned with local and national policies?

  • While obtaining local ethics approval in every country outside the UK is not feasible, the research team seeks permission from the headteacher of each participating school to align research practices with local and national policies governing educational institutions. Our research also follows CUREC Best Practice Guidance -Research conducted outside the UK, British Educational Research Association Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research, Association of Internet Researchers Ethical Guidelines, British Psychological Society: Ethics Guidelines for internet-mediated research, Association for Computing Machinery Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and British Psychological Society Code of Ethics and Conduct.


Q20: What happens if a student misses the data collection session?

  • If a student misses the data collection session, they can still participate but must be supervised by a teacher who has led a data collection session. Catch-up sessions do not need to be on the same day but must be within the data collection window and during the school day.


Q21: What if the school firewall prevents the use of Qualtrics?

  • In our IT information letter, we strongly encourage the school’s IT team to ensure that digital devices, typically computers, are prepared and capable of accessing the provided link. We recognize the importance of seamless technological integration for successful participation in the study. We are also open to collaborating closely with the school’s IT team to identify the most suitable solution that aligns seamlessly with their technological environment. Unfortunately, we cannot provide or accept paper copies of the questionnaire.


Q22: What if I want to take a look at the questionnaire?

  • If you want to test the questionnaire from start to finish, please use the school number ‘1000’ and the unique word ‘admin check’. That way, we can identify the dummy data and remove it before analysis. You can test the questionnaire link again (using ‘1000’ and ‘admin check’ again) to ensure it works immediately before the data collection session starts.


Q23: What if a data collection session is interrupted or disrupted?

  • Every student in the school will use the same link. If the link does not work, please try the backup link. If neither link works, then teachers should reschedule the data collection (this is rare but can happen). If a data collection session is disrupted for other reasons (such as a fire alarm), please contact our research team at wellbeingresearch@hmc.ox.ac.uk. They will guide you on the best course of action and provide assistance in resuming or recovering the data collection.


Q24: What login details do pupils need?

  • Pupils only need the questionnaire link, school’s unique word, and the number that we assigned to each school to log in.


Q25: What if students come to you after the data collection and want their answers to be deleted?

  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to delete individual answers after submission. The nature of our data collection process ensures the anonymity of responses, and we do not have the capability to identify which answers belong to specific individuals. Please inform students that their answers cannot be deleted, as there is no way to single out individual responses. However, researchers will treat their responses with the utmost confidentiality. It may also help to remind the pupil that the researchers are working with thousands of responses to this questionnaire so not to worry if they feel they gave the ‘wrong’ answers.


Q26: What if parents/guardians ask for the results of their child’s answers?

  • If parents ask for the results of their child’s answers, please inform them that individual results are confidential and anonymous and therefore cannot be identified. The data collected is used for research purposes only, with the focus on contributing to a greater understanding of adolescent wellbeing internationally.


Q27: What are the language options for this study?

  • Students can choose to view and respond to the questions in English, French, or Spanish.


Q28: What time will schools receive the following questionnaire collecting data from teachers and administrators?

  • Schools will receive the following questionnaire for teachers and administrators after students’ answers are collected. These follow-up questionnaires are sent manually by the research team so there will be a delay while the team prepare these for your school.


Q29: How can the school contact the research team for questions or concerns?

  • For any questions or concerns, the school can contact the Wellbeing Research Centre via email at wellbeingresearch@hmc.ox.ac.uk.
  • Please note that responses to emails may take up to 10 working days, and emergency circumstances should be dealt with following the school’s policies and practices.