Frequently Asked Questions

 

Frequently Asked Questions for Schools


Who gives permission for a school to take part?

The school Principal (or authorised person) needs to complete the online Agreement to Participate form by 13 July 2015.

If your school would like to participate in the Middle Childhood Survey please complete and submit the School Agreement to Participate Form using your school's secure verification code that was sent via email. 

                                                           

If your school would not like to participate in the Middle Childhood Survey, please complete and submit the School Decline to Participate Form

                                                                              

If you have any problems please contact us on  1800 901 922 or email: info@nsw-cds.com.au


 What are schools committing to do if they participate?

MCS Administration Checklist - For Principal or Nominated School Contact

  1. View all the Middle Childhood Survey (MCS) Administration Resources via the School menu.
  2. Arrange and facilitate a meeting with all staff involved in the MCS administration (e.g. Year 6 Teachers, School Psychologist, Stage 3 Coordinator, Wellbeing Leader, and Admin Staff).
  3. Distribute “MCS Administration Checklist – For Teachers” and provide teachers with secure login details for the MCS School Portal (provided to Principal and nominated person (s) in the email: ‘NSW-CDS: School Login Details for the myMCS Portal’).
  4. Support teachers to manage written or verbal opt-outs via the myMCS Portal.
  5. Provide computing facilities for Year 6 classes to complete the survey (during Term 3, 2015).
  6. Ensure appropriate resources are available for students requiring special assistance to complete the MCS (e.g. assistance of their usual support workers, if required), including accessing the audio-version of the MCS.
  7. Administer the online Middle Childhood Survey to all children in Year 6, within your school's nominated two-week time period, from 20 July to 11 September 2015. (For further details see MCS Administration Timeline)

MCS Administration Checklist - For Teachers

Prior to MCS Administration

  1. View the NSW-CDS Information Video
  2. Download the MCS Administration Guide: This will provide a step-by-step guide to assist you in the administration of the survey during class time.
  3. Distribute MCS “Information for Parents/Caregivers” Leaflet (opt-out forms included) to all parents/caregivers of children enrolled in Year 6. To help ensure all parents/caregivers are informed about the study, please distribute the Parent/Caregiver Information Leaflets by email to parents/caregivers and by having students take home a paper copy. This leaflet is available for download here and paper copies will also be posted to your school. An audio version of the leaflet is available and translated versions in the 10 most common languages spoken in NSW, other than English
  4. Log into the myMCS Portal to review and update student details (i.e., add or delete student details).
  5. Manage all written or verbal opt-outs via the myMCS Portal, by opting them out in the student records. Managing opt-outs will involve the Year 6 teacher(s) updating the School Administration Files in the school’s “myMCS Portal”. Parents may opt-out their child from the study before or after student survey administration. Teachers are required to keep all opt-out/ withdrawal paper copies until the survey closes on 16 October 2015, at which time all opt-out paper copies must be destroyed.
  6. Test the survey website and become familiar with the steps in the MCS Administration Guide before administering the MCS in class.

Administering the MCS

  1. Follow the steps provided in the MCS Administration Guide.
  2. Manage and provide alternative activities during class-time for those students who do not wish to participate in the MCS.
  3. Provide the usual support for students who may have concerns following survey completion (or in the unlikely event that a student shows signs of distress). “Help sheets” with information for teachers, students, and parents are available here or can be mailed to your school for dissemination as required.

Post MCS Administration

  1. Update student records in the myMCS Portal to indicate any students who were absent during the MCS administration period.
  2. Manage all written or verbal opt-outs via the myMCS Portal. NB. Parents may opt-out their child from the study up until the survey website closes on 16 October 2015.

 


 How does a school decline taking part?

If your school would not like to participate in the Middle Childhood Survey, please complete and submit the School's Decline to Participate Form. Please note that this form is not currently active but will be activated closer to the time of the survey.

                                                            

If you have any problems please contact us on  1800 901 922 or email: info@nsw-cds.com.au


How do I access the myMCS Portal and MCS Resources?

To access your school's myMCS Portal please enter your secure username and password that has been sent to your school email.

                                                            

If you have any problems please contact us on  1800 901 922 or email: info@nsw-cds.com.au


You will find the MCS Resources under the "Schools" tab or within the myMCS Portal.


 What is the process for running the survey in class? 

  • Principal (or authorised person) to complete the school’s online Agreement to Participate form before 13 July 2015. Ensure the name and contact details of the staff member(s) who will be coordinating the MCS at your school are included on this form. 
  • Download the MCS Administration Guide and view the NSW-CDS Information video, both accessed through the myMCS Portal using the secure login details provided. 
  • Distribute MCS “Information for Parents/Caregivers” Leaflets (opt-out forms included) to all parents/caregivers of children enrolled in Year 6 at your school by email and by having students take home a paper copy. The NSW-CDS team will mail these documents to your school and they are also available for download here
  • Update student details in the myMCS Portal and manage all written or verbal opt-outs.  Parents may opt-out their child from the study up until the survey website closes on 16 October, 2015.
  • Provide and manage alternative activities during class-time for those students who do not wish to participate in the MCS and ensure appropriate resources are provided for students requiring special assistance to complete the MCS.
  • Administer the online MCS survey to all children in Year 6 classes, within a two-week time period selected by the school, from 20 July to 11 September 2015
  • Schools provide the usual asssistance and support for students who may have concerns following survey completion (or in the unlikely event that a student shows signs of distress). “Help sheets” with information for teachers, students, and parents are available here.

Full details of how to run the survey are available in the MCS Administration Guide.

What happens if a child becomes upset during or after the survey?

The survey questions ask about the child’s thoughts, feelings, actions, and experiences. The survey items have been used previously in population studies of children aged 8-12 years without causing distress.

However, for some students, it is possible that distress related to circumstances operating outside of the context of the survey (e.g., existing psychological or other stress) may follow completion of the survey.

If a student indicates to you that they require assistance after completion of the MCS, we encourage you to direct the student to speak to local Chaplains or School Counsellors (according to the established procedures for your school).

For any student who indicates they would prefer to speak about their concerns with someone who doesn’t know them personally, they can be directed to Kids Helpline (1800 551 800), or to the NSW Child Development Study toll-free helpline on 1800 901 922.

For any parent who would like to speak about their concern with someone who doesn’t know them personally, they can be directed to Parentline (on 1300 301 300), to Lifeline (on 13 11 14), or to the NSW Child Development Study toll-free helpline on 1800 901 922.

If you would like more information about the study, please contact the NSW Child Development Study toll-free helpline on 1800 901 922.


How is the MCS completed?

Year 6 students will complete the survey online in class, which should take less than 30 minutes. Responses will be recorded anonymously using survey software developed and managed by Multi-Media Concepts. There will be no researchers at schools; instead, teachers will assist students to log into the survey software, which is designed to be self-administered at the student's own pace, once logged in.


 

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents & Caregivers


What if I don't want my child to be involved?

If you don't want your child to complete the MCS at school, there are three ways you can "Opt-Out"/Withdraw:

  1. Sign the "Opt-Out/Withdrawal Form" attached to the "Parent/Caregiver Information Leaflet" and return it to your child's class teacher (this leaflet will be sent home with your child and emailed to you by your child's school).
  2. You can opt-out by clicking the link below.
  3. Contact your school directly by telephone or by speaking to your child's class teacher.
If your child's teacher does not receive your opt-out/withdrawal notice prior to the survey, your child will be given the opportunity to complete the survey in class. 
 

                                                          

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 1800 901 922 or email: info@nsw-cds.com.au.


How do I remove my child's information after they've done the survey?

If you change your mind about your child’s inclusion in the study you can withdraw your child’s responses from the MCS research database by any of the three methods above, up until the start of Term 4 (16 October 2015). After this point all responses will be de-identified for provision to the research team, such that removal of a specific child’s responses will no longer be possible. If you withdraw your child’s responses, your child’s data will be withdrawn and destroyed.

                                                        


How can I speak to someone about this research?

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us:

NSW Child Development Study, UNSW
c/- The O'Brien Centre, Level 4

St Vincent's Hospital

394-404 Victoria Street

Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Telephone (toll- free): 1800 901 922

Email: info@nsw-cds.com.au

Web Form: Click Here


What if my child was upset after the survey?

Taking part in this survey is not likely to cause you or your child distress. The survey questions have been used previously in large studies of children aged 8-12 years without causing distress.

The survey asked about children’s thoughts, feelings, actions, and experiences. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions.

However, for a few people, sometimes the types of questions asked in the survey might make them think about something upsetting or distressing in their life. If this happens, please talk to someone about it.

If your child becomes upset and you would like support for your child, you can contact the child’s teacher, principal, school counsellor, or school chaplain.

If your child prefers to talk to someone who doesn’t know them personally, they can call Kids Helpline (1800 551 800), which is a free call from your home phone, a payphone, and even a mobile phone.

If you would like to talk to someone about things that upset you or your child, we encourage you to call Parentline (1300 301 300), a toll-free call, except from some mobile phones) or Lifeline (131114; calls from mobiles are free, and local charges apply from landlines).

If you would like to raise any concerns about the study with the research team, please contact us using the toll-free number below so that we can use your feedback to improve our methods of collecting the Middle Childhood Survey information.

For more information about the study, you can contact the NSW Child Development Study toll-free helpline on 1800 901 922.


 

Frequently Asked Questions for Students


What if I don’t want to do the survey?

You are free to decide whether you want to take part in the survey or not, and you can withdraw your agreement to participate at any time if you wish.

If you are asked and you don’t want to complete the survey, just tell your teacher or your parents/carers.

Even if you are part-way through the survey and want to stop, just tell your teacher.


What if I feel upset during or after the survey and need to talk to someone? 

Our survey asked you to tell us about your thoughts, feelings, actions, and experiences.

The questions we asked in this survey were not a test and there are no right or wrong answers. 

However, sometimes, the types of questions asked might make you think about things that make you upset. 

If this happens, there is always someone you can talk to about this.

  • If you are at school, you can go to your teacher, principal, school counsellor or school chaplain.
  • If you are at home, you can talk to your parents/carers.
  • Or, if you would like to talk to somebody else who cares for children but doesn’t know you personally, you can call Kids Helpline (1800 551 800), which is a free call from your home phone, a payphone, and even a mobile phone.

Remember too, that if you would like some more information about our study, you can contact the NSW Child Development Study toll-free helpline on 1800 901 922.