Wellbeing and health in schools project (WHISP) – Phase 1

Lead investigator
Dr Nina Gobat

Co-Contributors: Mike Robling, Simon Murphy, Rhiannon Evans


The Wellbeing and Health in Schools Project (WHISP) draws together an interdisciplinary collaboration between 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.

Study design

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.

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, the impact of actions and needs are the core beliefs that influence practice and provision and indeed outcomes.

Further information & publications
Start date
February 2016
End date
December 2016

Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Health Collaborative Awards (Cardiff University)