Detailed Guidelines for the 6-7 Year Age Group Survey

  1. Post letter out to the randomly selected schools, addressed to Board of Trustees/Principal/Teachers, including a sample of questionnaire, information letter to parents and copy of the translations.

  2. A week later, contact the school by phone asking the secretary the name of the Principal and could you speak to him/her. Ascertain if possible the secretary's name also. (This checks whether they received the letter and establishes contact -important!).

    A record is kept of all schools - when the letter is sent, when contact is made, and the names of the people concerned.

  3. When permission has been granted for access, an appointment is made to visit the school. The staff are asked for a copy of all relevant class lists to be available on that day to give to the ISAAC researcher.

    When date of visit is ascertained get stickers printed "Date for survey to be returned" and stick onto letter in advance (being short though of approximate numbers - the others can be done at the school).

  4. On the day of visit first speak to the principal and secretary, request the use of the school stamp for use on the questionnaire (so questionnaires are not wasted). Ask for any children needing translations to be identified.

  5. Following identification of eligible children, the surveys are named and stamped with the name of the school. This is done by numbering the child on the class list copy. The same number is then entered on the questionnaire along with the number corresponding to it being the first survey form sent, e.g. and the school term that it was sent, e.g. for term 3. The 2nd & 3rd group of boxes are left blank e.g.

    (This is to safeguard against mistakes)

    The area number and school number can be completed later. Mistakes will not occur as long as the school name has been stamped on the questionnaire.

    To avoid wastage pre-coding of survey forms is not recommended unless class lists are posted in to the researcher. However, this is not recommended as personal contact is extremely important to get good participation (although it would possibly be a time saver). The time spent with the school, principal and teachers is invaluable and the success of the survey depends on the support given by the staff!

    Step (i) - Class list numbers.
    Step (ii) - Child's name entered.
    Step (iii) - Name of school stamped on.
    Step (iv) - Child No:, Survey No: and Term No: entered.
    Step (v) - Letter to parent with translation enclosed inside questionnaire (sticker with date of return on the information letter).
    Step (vi) - Each survey folded, with a final check to ensure that it has been numbered, named and school name stamped.
    Step (vii) - Bundles for each classroom held with 2 rubber bands and classroom numbers written top left hand corner (for ease of distribution).
    Step (viii) - Appropriate number of incentive stickers tucked into rubber bands.
    Step (ix) - Note attached to thank teacher, e.g.
    "Would you please ask the children to return these surveys by ../../93. The letter to the parent has this information on it and would you give them a sticker when they return the survey.
    Thank you,
    Department of Paediatrics
    Philippa Ellwood
    School of Medicine"

  6. Plan to be introduced to staff at morning tea. Some schools require a small introduction of the project and relevant information is given out then. (This isn't so much fun at first!).

  7. A final thank you to the headmaster and discussion on when to return to collect questionnaires. The timing of this is about a week following the "Date of Return" on the letter to the parents. A phone call before returning is a nice touch - also ascertains how many surveys returned and whether it is worth a visit yet or to postpone it.

  8. On return to school sort all surveys into number sequence and then mark off on class list. Reissue any not returned with same Child No:, Same term No:, but Survey No. will become instead of .

    Staple a post paid (stamped) addressed (to Research Centre) envelope to each 2nd survey - again bundle up into classes and put Room No. on top of form.

    In the case of surveys returned uncompleted, reissue the survey but put a 2 above the box with the .

    NB Reissue BLANK SURVEYS on the premise that it could have been left in the child's bag and returned to get a sticker. A POSITIVE NO from parent on form would stop a reissue. Some parents may not want the school to have the completed form and the response from the mail return is good.


    When, if this is returned, the can be blocked out and the 2 inserted. Keep a note if these are on the class list, e.g. Nos 2 22 36 58 returned uncompleted, reissued ../93.

  9. Leave a few spare envelopes with the secretary as some will return them to the school.

  10. No further contact with the school is required, but a letter from the researcher thanking them all would be appreciated.

  11. Surveys collected are put into a locked filing cabinet. Any returned by post are checked off and put into number sequence. At a less pressured time the surveys are checked for date of birth - age discrepancy and area box no. inserted alongside school number.

  12. Any corrections to demographic data must be recorded (see record sheet in Appendix A) identified by school code and child number and reason for change.

  13. The questionnaire itself must not be altered under any circumstances.

The ISAAC Phase One Field Guide was prepared by Philippa Ellwood. Please contact Mrs Ellwood if you have any questions regarding the guide.