SHINE’s annual national network conference report

SHINE’s 3rd annual national network conference took place virtually on Thursday 18th November 2021. The theme the event was “Data into Action – transforming young people’s wellbeing data” and we were delighted to welcome over 100 delegates throughout the day. The majority of delegates were teachers from SHINE schools, joined by health researchers, Local Authority HWB leads and policymakers

As a network of schools, SHINE sees the annual network event as the highlight of its calendar – the network’s value is in the quality and breadth of its interactions, bringing together a community determined to make a difference and transform the health and wellbeing of young people through the effective use of HWB data. Although a virtual event again this year, delegates made a great effort to share ideas through the chat function, in breakout room discussions and via an interactive, virtual notes easyretro board.

To set the context for the day’s events and consider the national picture, the conference programme began with an overview of the current national HWB data landscape, given the impact of COVID and delegates heard a progress update from the Scottish Government regarding the ongoing work of the Joint Delivery Board within the national mental health strategy for young people. To provide practical examples of evidence-based practice in schools, the Equally Safe at School team delivered an informative presentation about their work with schools using data evidence to support and educate young people about gender-based violence in order to prevent it. To consider the future of using health research effectively in schools, later in the day, we had inputs from health researchers, investigating a range of factors affecting young people’s mental health, who invited delegates to discuss their projects in relation to the school setting and even get involved.

To support school practice, researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow introduced some new resources for members to improve young people’s understanding of and ability to interact with health data in the classroom. To feedback to network members, Judith Mabelis, a research fellow on the SHINE team presented the initial findings from the 1st year of the SHINE mental health survey allowing schools to compare the total findings to their school-level findings. To share good practice amongst practitioners, 2 SHINE schools and 1 Local Authority presented case study sessions to showcase their use and implementation of the SHINE mental health survey at school, cluster and Local authority level, taking questions from delegates and discussing the practicalities of their plans. To network around specific SHINE targets our 3 SHINE development Officers, who have been working with us part time this year to support the development of SHINE shared their plans and progress on the journey so far and called for members to get involved and join their explorations. To remind ourselves why it is so important to work together to improve and support young people’s health and wellbeing, we finished the day with a thought-provoking session from Changing Faces – the UK’s leading charity supporting people with a visible difference. The truly heart-breaking statistics, yet heart-warming videos of collaborative triumph in the face of challenge were an excellent point to finish the event on a resounding note of shared agenda, hope and positive action.

We would like to thank all those who joined us on the day to present, to ask questions, to contribute ideas and share practice, making it a thoroughly enjoyable day.

If you attended the event and haven’t had a chance to do so yet, please complete the evaluation form – we really value your input. If you have any suggestions for or comments about future national network events, please get in touch. We look forward to next year’s event and very much hope to be able to return to face-to-face events in future to increase the interactivity of the network.