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Common Questions

For Schools For Parents and Carers How do I participate? All you need to do is get the Studybugs app (available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone) or register on the Studybugs website, and follow the prompts. You can get started here. Then, if your child is ever ill, please report it via Studybugs. What if my child doesn’t have asthma – can I still participate? Yes, very much so. The data we’re able to collect if you report absence via Studybugs is still useful in our research, regardless of whether your child has asthma. Can I participate if my child’s school isn’t participating? Yes. Just get the Studybugs app or register online, as above. If your child’s school isn’t using Studybugs, the Studybugs app will automatically email them any absence reports you post, on your behalf. If I’m registered with Studybugs, do I have to participate? No, if you don’t want to be asked any extra questions by us via Studybugs, you can opt out the first time and we won’t bother you again. Should my child continue taking their asthma medication? Absolutely. You should continue to provide treatment for asthma for your child as advised by their general practitioner (GP). If you have any concerns please discuss them with their GP. Will my and my child’s personal data be kept private? Absolutely. Your personal data will not be shared with us or other third parties. This is covered in Studybugs’s privacy policy which you can find here. To facilitate our research, Studybugs will be collecting extra data from parents who choose to participate. This data will be passed to us in anonymous form for the purposes of this research and will not be linked with any other records relating to you or your child. What’s the project timeframe? The project is well underway with many schools and parents already participating, and participation is still open. Data collection began in Spring this year (2017) and will continue as we formulate and develop interventions, to be delivered via the app, over the next few months and beyond. If the interventions are successful our aim will be to continue to deliver them via the Studybugs app for the foreseeable future. Is there any reason I should be aware of that my school shouldn’t participate? Not that we know of! It’s really quick and easy for you to get set up, and we think the potential benefits in terms of children’s health, and improved school attendance and achievement, should make this well worth your while. If there are any specific concerns you have, please check below, and if you don’t find the answer you’re looking for please drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help. My school isn’t near other participating schools – can I still take part? Yes, participation is open to schools and parents across the UK, or even beyond. Originally, participation was only open to schools in Sussex, but the response was so positive that we’ve now opened it up more widely. We very much welcome schools in new areas. My school’s already using Studybugs, so how do I participate? If you’re already using Studybugs, the school, parents and children will automatically benefit from the project, and there’s nothing extra you need to do. What are the exact steps involved in setting this up at my school?
  1. Register here.
  2. You’ll receive an email from Studybugs – click the link to activate your account.
  3. Go through their short online Getting Started guide:
    1. Add any colleagues who’ll need access
    2. Ask parents to get the app. Materials are provided to make this easy, including text to copy-paste into an SMS or email. There are no code numbers or complex instructions to issue to parents.

The process is very straightforward and need only take a few minutes in total, as schools already using Studybugs have testified.

Will this really make life in the office easier? Based on what we’ve heard from other schools, yes it will make life easier. However if you’re concerned about having to check for absence reports in another place, you can have Studybugs automatically email absence reports to a school email address you specify. Will parents use this? The experience at other schools has been yes, very much so. Take-up typically builds up over the first term and then averages around 70% of families, and this is increasing all the time. At some schools, the take-up has now hit 100%. We’ve found that take-up is pretty consistent across different school types and demographics, but does vary depending on how you announce it to parents. We’ll provide you with wording for email and SMS announcements, which have proven highly effective. Do parents have to participate? No. If parents have the Studybugs app but don’t want to be asked any extra questions, they can opt out the first time and we won’t bother them again. Also, use of the Studybugs app is of course optional, and parents can continue to report absences by the usual methods if they wish. Will Studybugs work with our other systems? Many schools already use Studybugs successfully alongside other systems, including Management Information Systems such as SIMS, and messaging and payment systems such as Teachers2Parents, eSchools, Schoolcomms, ParentMail and ParentPay. What’s the project timeframe? We’re inviting schools and parents to register with Studybugs now, ready for the spring term 2017 when we’ll begin the data collection effort in earnest. If parents report an asthma-like illness via Studybugs before then, they might not be asked any extra questions. However the anonymous absence data passed to us (subject to parent’s consent) will still be useful in our research. If I want to participate in Inspire, which Studybugs modules do I need? The free version of Studybugs is all you need. There are optional add-on modules available (both free and paid-for) but they’re not required for you to participate in Inspire. What happens after Inspire is finished? You’ll be able to continue using Studybugs free of charge. Do you have plans to focus on any other illnesses or conditions, other than asthma? Yes, we think there’s lots of potential to apply a similar approach to tackling other common illnesses in children, gathering useful data via the Studybugs app and offering guidance and advice to parents where possible. We started with asthma-like illnesses because they are so widespread, but if it works for asthma there’s no reason the same approach shouldn’t work for all sorts of other conditions. Why “Inspire”? As well as being a positive term when it comes to children’s achievement at school, there’s also the medical meaning of inspire, ‘to breathe in’. It seemed like a suitable title for a project focussing on improving treatment of asthma in children.