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Open Access Improving young people's health and well-being through a school health research network: Reflections on school–researcher engagement at the national level

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The School Health Research Network is a policy–practice–research partnership established in Wales in 2013. The network aims to: provide health and well-being data for national, regional and local stakeholders, including schools; co-produce school-based health improvement research for Wales; and build capacity for evidence-informed practice in the school health community. School-focused engagement activities include providing member schools with bespoke Student Health and Well-being Reports, hosting school health webinars, producing schoolfriendly research briefings and holding annual events for schools. The network's model for co-producing research with schools is described and its impacts on schools is explored. These include more efficient recruitment of schools to research projects, school involvement in intervention development, schools beginning to embed evidence-informed practice by using their Health and Well-being Reports and other network resources, and securing funding to evaluate innovative health and well-being practices identified by schools. Drawing on the transdisciplinary action research (TDAR) literature, the article reflects on how TDAR principles have underpinned the progress of the network. The concept of reciprocity in the co-production literature, and its relevance to engagement with schools, is also explored, along with the network's contribution to our understanding of how we can build sustainable co-production at large scale in order to generate nationallevel action and benefit.

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Keywords: CO-PRODUCTION; RECIPROCITY; SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT; SCHOOL HEALTH RESEARCH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • Research for All is now published by UCL Press. New issues and all the back content shown here are available through ScienceOpen and accessed from the journal's page at UCL Press

    Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    Research for All is supporting the 16th International conference for Public Communication of Science and Technology being held in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, 26–28 May 2020. Authors of contributions presented at the conference are invited subsequently to submit papers to Research for All for a special feature on Public Communication of Science and Technology.

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