Well-being and Health In Schools Project (WHISP): Phase I

Principal / Lead investigator
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Type of study

Exploratory phase 1 study for measure development and complex intervention package development.


The Wellbeing and Health in Schools Project (WHISP) draws together an interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers and practitioners focused on the development and evaluation of a complex, school-based wellbeing intervention that is theoretically informed by the evidence-based restorative practice approach .

The intervention has been developed and delivered in Monmouth Comprehensive school for many years and has been acknowledged by educational professionals as best practice in improving wellbeing, with the school being awarded a number of accolades for their approach. However, the intervention does not currently have a scientific evidence base demonstrating effectiveness.

In alignment with the Medical Research Council’s guidance on the development and evaluation of complex public health interventions, the present study comprises a pragmatic formative process evaluation. This entails the construction of an intervention logic model in order to articulate the underpinning mechanisms of change, and how these mechanisms interact with contextual factors and implementation practices in the generation of outcomes (both intended and unintended).  

Whereas many public health interventions are developed and evaluated prospectively, the retrospective process evaluation of a programme already in routine practice has a number of advantages: contextual and implementation factors that may compromise intervention theory and inhibit outcomes are likely to have already emerged; the intervention is acceptable; sustainability has been demonstrated.

Who is the study sponsor?

Cardiff University


Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Health Collaborative Awards (Cardiff University)

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How could this research potentially benefit patients?

The short-term impact of this project will be experienced in Monmouth Comprehensive School itself by clarifying how wellbeing is supported by the quality of relationship both with self, peers and adults. This would inform the schools self –evaluation process against curriculum structure, learning approaches, behaviour support and distributed leadership and will allow for evaluation of the school’s restorative culture where perspectives, thoughts and feelings, impact of actions and needs are the core beliefs that influence practice and provision and indeed outcomes.

Related links

News article: 'Promoting mental health and wellbeing in schools: front-line innovation in Wales'. ReMEDY News (Cardiff University), May 2017 (online article) and http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/746009/remedy_edition_25.pdf 

Project page on DECIPHer website: http://decipher.uk.net/research-page/wellbeing-health-schools-project-whisp-phase-1/