Child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing (MHWB) have received greater attention in recent years due to increases in mental ill health and reports of decreasing subjective wellbeing. The School Health and Wellbeing Improvement Research Network (SHINE) was established to create a national infrastructure to support Scottish schools to collect and use health and wellbeing (HWB) data to inform school improvement action planning. This study aimed to evaluate a pilot of SHINE’s provision of school-level HWB data reports from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey and their impact on school action planning. Using a qualitative case study design, we collected data in four local authorities across Scotland via pupil and school staff focus groups (n = 23 groups), and from interviews with senior leaders, school SHINE Leads, other relevant school-level stakeholders, local authority (LA) HWB and data leads (n = 30 interviews). Data analysis was supported using Normalisation Process Theory as a guiding framework. Implementation was at an early stage. Participants indicated that the data reports were an accessible and valuable source of local information to support the improvement agenda. SHINE’s expertise supported the lack of research capacity and strengthened HWB data literacy skills in schools. At the point of interview, data reports had not been shared widely within the school community, but there was some limited use of the reports to inform action planning around HWB. Through close working and further engagement with schools, SHINE has the potential to support them to deliver national commitments to improving HWB.

Scottish schools are required to support young people’s health and wellbeing (HWB). Schools must demonstrate a robust framework of self-evaluation to understand pupils’ HWB needs and find ways to support them. The School Health and Wellbeing Improvement Research Network (SHINE) was set up to support Scottish schools to better understand the HWB needs of pupils and make more effective use of HWB data. In SHINE’s initial pilot phase, schools were given reports of findings from a survey of some of their pupils. This study asked schools and local authorities what they thought of these reports and whether they had used them to inform school improvement. Schools were enthusiastic about receiving reports with their own school’s data. They liked the format and content of the reports. However, at the time of interview, only a few schools had used the reports to make changes within the school. Some limitations of the data reports were identified. They believed however that SHINE’s expertise was valuable and were enthusiastic about the potential of network membership. SHINE will continue to develop in response to this study’s feedback.

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