Foster And Brown Research


What we are up to

2017 Pupil Health and lifestyle surveys

The Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire Online Pupil Surveys are now in and are being transferred to our online reporting tool, LodeSeeker™ ready for launch in June. We have a smidgen under 10,000 responses for Wiltshire and just over 6,000 responses for South Gloucestershire which will give an excellent sample of pupil voice for both counties. As this is the second time the survey has been run, there is now longitudinal data to be looked at as well which will give an indication of direction of travel for many issues that are of concern to the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Schools that have worked on interventions or special projects over the last 2 years will be able to see if their efforts have had an effect and the Councils will be able to target schools that have areas of concern.

Gloucestershire OPS 2016 Results

For 2016 we have made significant changes and improvements to LodeSeeker™, our interactive online reporting tool, to make searching for answers even easier than before and we have improved the free text outputs. We have also included a new RAG Report (RAG=Red, Amber, Green) showing at a glance where selected populations are worse, similar or better than the overall population - typically this could be used to compare an individual school with the County average. This is a very powerful visual tool which can highlight areas of concern very easily.

View details »

View details of our Online surveys »

Food Matters Live

Pauline Foster has been invited to speak at the Food Matters Live exhibition taking place on 21st - 23rd November 2017 at ExCel, London. She will be speaking on matters relating to neuroscience on the 23rd November.

Great Competition for pupils and students to have fun with Science!

The entry date has passed to enter your school into the Society of Cosmetic Scientists annual competition for schools, which aims to encourage student's interest in science through participation but you may still be interested to know that the final is being held at The National Space Centre. Scrub up on science school competition closing date 19 May 2017

Here's more interesting stuff »»»

Interesting stuff

Sex education in schools

On 1st March 2017, Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education announced that she was proposing to legislate for sex education to be compulsory in all schools .

As from our 2016 Online Pupil Survey, we have included several Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) questions and are well placed to follow any impacts this legislation may have on pupil knowledge and behaviour.

Good example of school survey use

This is a really good example of how gathering data and obtaining a deep understanding of behaviour can help tackle what may appear to be intractable problems with substance abuse - read about how Iceland is stopping teen substance abuse . Our survey asks very similar questions regarding substance abuse and type of activities and our reporting software allows analysts to compare schools and identify problem areas.


A recent presentation and report on electronic cigarettes by Public Health England South West identified key messages for specialist nurses which follow the messages in this blog from Public Health England. One of the remaining questions is whether e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking in young people. One of our survey questions is attempting to gather evidence regarding this.

OPS accuracy

For those of you who are interested in the accuracy of our results, here's some figures for Gloucestershire in 2016:

Year Group Number in database % population based on NOR (as of October 2015)
Year 4 5,257 81.4%
Year 5 (new optional yeargroup) 3,613 58.0%
Year 6 4,898 79.6%
Year 8 5,428 83.3%
Year 10 5,156 81.5%
Year 12 in schools (not colleges) 2,674 76.5%

Statistically, that’s a confident interval of 0.28 at 95% confidence level or 0.36 at the 99% confidence level (this means if we repeated the survey over the entire population we would get the same results + or – 0.36% and we can be certain of this 99% of the time).