Scottish school pupils have been urged to share their experiences of how school closures during the covid-19 pandemic have had an impact on their lives.
Edinburgh University is conducting a survey to engage with pupils on how classroom closures, the feeling of isolation and scrapping of exams has affected their mental health and wellbeing.
The university will also assess the impact of having to close schools during the lock-down on the mental health of the most vulnerable pupils.
Pupils will be asked what they think is needed to be done to address those concerns that they have raised in the survey.
Professor Gillean McCluskey, of Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The vital insights that pupils provide will enable us to assess the impacts of covid-19 on mental health and education, and also help to inform future policy interventions.”
Researchers say that the Scottish Government-backed study would help to make sure that policymakers hear young people’s voices as the country eases out of lock-down.
The Chief Scientist Office that funds the study is open to those pupils who are currently studying towards their National 3, 4 and 5 and Highers.
Fellow researcher Dr Margaret Laurie, said: “We are encouraging pupils to tell us exactly what they think could have been done differently and to suggest what might help them and other young people in the future. Results will play a vital part in the decision-making process.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We know that lockdown has impacted many young people’s mental health and wellbeing and we have published guidance for schools to support those most adversely affected by the pandemic.
“This is one of 55 rapid research projects funded by the Chief Scientist Office to better understand the coronavirus and its impacts. The research findings will further inform our ongoing work in this area.”
Last week Scottish pupils returned to school after closures, in a phased return, for the first time since lock-down started back in March.
The online survey will only take 20 minutes, and pupils are being invited to join focus groups.
Click here to take part in the survey: https://bit.ly/30Tgdxy
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