National Principal Survey of Chronic Disease Prevention Practice Implementation 2022-23

This is Australia’s first national survey asking primary school principals to tell us about the student health and wellbeing programs they are delivering, and what support they need to continue to deliver these programs.

The survey aims to understand which healthy eating, physical activity, and smoking, vaping, and alcohol prevention programs are implemented in Australian primary schools.

The survey also provides schools with an opportunity to share experiences and perspectives about which programs should be prioritised, and what support Australian primary schools need to deliver these programs.

The survey is confidential and can be completed online or over the telephone. For more information please see email or see the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ below for principals who have been invited to participate.

Survey overview


We can improve the health of children and young people by ensuring effective nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol prevention programs and practices are routinely implemented in schools.

How this project will help

  • We will find out the extent to which these programs and practices are implemented in schools.
  • We will identify where there are gaps in implementation.
  • Our findings will help policy makers and practitioners know how to support implementation of effective nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol programs and practices in schools to improve the health of children and young people.

Using high quality measures, we will ask participants about their implementation of nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco or alcohol practices and programs. We will also ask about the acceptability, feasibility, sustainability, and reach of practices and programs. 


The survey will by implemented on a state-by-state basis from July 2022. Summary survey results will be available in 2023.

About us

This research is being conducted by researchers at the National Centre of Implementation Science (NCOIS). NCOIS is a NHMRC funded Centre for Research Excellence associated with the University of Newcastle. Our focus is on identifying, optimising and translating implementation research on chronic disease prevention policies, programs and practices within community settings, including schools. The NCOIS National Principal Survey is being led by Dr Rebecca Hodder and supported by Dr Kate O’Brien.

Frequently Asked Questions for Principals

I’ve been invited to participate in the NCOIS National Principal Survey – what is this?

This is an important national survey to collect information about healthy eating, physical activity, smoking and alcohol use prevention programs that are being implemented in Australian primary schools. This survey provides your school with an excellent opportunity to share your experiences and perspectives about these types of programs, including which programs are a priority in your school, and what support Australian primary schools need to implement these types of programs. This is the first survey of this kind in Australia and a sample of schools from all school sectors and Australian states and territories have been invited to participate.

How is the information from this survey used and why is it important?

The results from this survey will be used to identify which school-based chronic disease policies and practices are currently being implemented to improve the health of Australian school children. The results will be shared with policy makers and researchers to identify which programs should be prioritised for implementation in Australian primary schools and what type of support schools need to implement them.

How do I complete the survey?

If you have been invited to participate in this survey you will receive an email that contains more detailed information and a unique link to complete your survey online.

You can also request a trained telephone interviewer call you to complete the survey over the phone at your preferred time.

What kinds of questions will you ask?

The first part of the survey will ask you some general questions about your school.
The remainder of the survey will ask you about the specific programs or practices that you implement in your school. The questions will ask about the acceptability of programs, your school’s priority student health issues, barriers to implementing these types of programs, and what support your school needs to implement these programs.

How long will the survey take?

The survey will take approximately 25-30 minutes to complete.

If I agree to participate, who in my school will be involved?

A principal or any delegate that the principal nominates can complete the survey.

I’m having trouble starting the survey online – where can I find help?

You can email us at and one of our team will be happy to assist you.

Why was my school selected?
Primary schools from every Australian state and territory, including both government and independent school sectors, have been selected at random to participate in this survey.

Rather than survey every school in Australia, we have used a scientific sampling process designed to randomly select 1500 schools from all Australian school jurisdictions that represent the types of schools in Australia. This means that the evidence generated and any resulting decisions about programs are made using the most accurate information.

Every school in Australia has a chance of being selected for this important national survey.

How will you keep my information safe, secure and confidential?

Any information provided will be treated as strictly confidential. Your identity will not be revealed to anyone other than the investigators conducting the study. Only the research team from the University of Newcastle will have access to the completed surveys.

Any information stored electronically will be stored in a confidential file on a password-protected computer web server and back-up discs will be stored in a lockable cabinet. Data will be retained securely for a minimum period of 5 years from completion of the research and managed/stored in accordance with the University’s Research Data and Materials Management Guideline (see or any successor Guideline, and applicable University of Newcastle policy provisions (as amended from time to time). Access to any identifiable data will be restricted to members of the research team. Neither your name nor your school’s name will be stored with the final dataset.

We use the information you provide to identify trends and calculate statistics, which are released in ways that do not allow for the identification of individuals or schools.

How can I provide feedback about my experience in the National Principal Survey?

If you have participated in this survey, we want to hear about your experience. We value your feedback and will use it to improve how we work with our survey participants. Feedback can be provided to

Who can I contact for more information?

For help or more information about this survey, please contact