The Good Behaviour Game

The intervention seeks to tackle the idea that pupils are increasingly coming to school with less ‘school readiness’, resulting in them falling behind and in some cases never becoming good learners. A survey in 2012 by the Children’s Commissioner found that 80% of pupils reported that other pupils often disrupt their learning. The Good Behaviour Game (GBG) rewards positive group, as opposed to individual, behaviour. The intervention includes intensive teacher training: two days initial training, a one day booster and trainer observation visits every 2-3 weeks, reducing after the first term together with a classroom intervention supplemented by weekly teacher-led class meetings to improve children’s behaviour and social skills. The project will take place over two years starting in Year 3, commencing in September 2015.

Why are we funding it?

Longitudinal research from a randomised controlled trial has been undertaken by Dr Shappard Kellam of John Hopkins University in Baltimore schools. The study looked at results into adulthood (aged 19-21) of pupils who had participated in the GBG. Research indicates that is particularly effective for disruptive boy and estimated that they:

  • Made one year of additional progress in reading and maths at aged 19
  • Were 36% less likely to have received special education services in secondary school
  • Were 21% more likely to have completed their secondary education
  • Were 62% more likely to be attending university 

There are further health benefits relating to considerable reductions in smoking, drug and alcohol use. 

How are we evaluating it?

The evaluation will be undertaken by the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, led by Prof Neil Humphrey. Randomisation will be at school level, primary outcome will be attainment after two years at the end of Year 4 with the impact on behaviour being estimated after the first year of the intervention at the end of Year 3. There will also be a comprehensive process evaluation which will include insights into the effect on teachers’ job satisfaction.

To view the project's evaluation protocol click here.

When will the evaluation report be due?

An evaluation report on the findings of the trial will be published in Autumn 2017.