About Studybugs

Our goal at Studybugs is to improve children’s health and achievement at school.

The free Studybugs app provides a simple, secure way for parents to report their children’s absence from school. Via the app, we collect anonymised data on symptoms and illnesses reported, enabling parents, schools and public health organisations to see what bugs are going around – giving timely clues for diagnosis, warnings of outbreaks and options for preventative action.

For schools, we provide a free online service which greatly streamlines daily handling of pupil absence, without sacrificing personal contact with parents where it’s needed. It includes access for all school staff, and can be set up in minutes.

Our optional paid-for add-on ‘Attendance’ goes even further to help schools maximise the attendance – and ultimately therefore the achievement – of all pupils. It saves hours of staff time each day by eliminating repetitive admin tasks, and enables this to be put to best use by providing the live information, alerts and tools that staff need to take action.

Studybugs is used by schools and colleges across the UK, ranging in size from 40 to 3,000 pupils.

Studybugs is an accredited Associate Technical Partner of Capita SIMS.


It all started when one of the co-founder’s young children came down with scarlet fever. Only after being misdiagnosed by four doctors did he discover one of her school friends had been ill with scarlet fever shortly before. If that information had been available earlier the diagnosis would have been obvious.

So we came up with the idea of building an app for collecting anonymised data on what bugs are going around. We decided to concentrate on schools as notorious places for spreading illnesses, and working with local schools we built a system that makes it easy and secure for parents to report when their children are off sick. We soon found there were many further benefits and have gone on to build the system into what it is today.

Studybugs was launched in April 2014 by co-founders Alex Lovelock-Wren, Jeremy Mabbitt and Joanna Mabbitt. In September 2015 we were awarded backing from the Open Data Institute (co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web) to help accelerate our collection of open data for the benefit of public health. Originally called ‘Sickly’, we changed our name in March 2016 to reflect the increasing breadth of our work.


Studybugs makes use of numerous excellent open source software libraries, for which we are very grateful.

Company Details

Our company’s legal name is Studybugs Ltd and we’re registered in England with number 08352917, registered office (not our business address) 5a Park Avenue, Bedford MK40 2JY.

Our VAT registration number is GB176769057.