Education Endowment Foundation:New: Evaluation of wellbeing programme finds positive impact on absence levels

New: Evaluation of wellbeing programme finds positive impact on absence levels


EEF publishes three new evaluation reports.

Press Release •2 minutes •

Today, the EEF has published findings from the evaluation of Healthy Minds, a project which aims to support secondary school pupils in Years 7 to 10 (11−15 year olds) by improving their wellbeing and health.

The programme, developed and delivered by Bounce Forward, involves 14 evidence-informed modules designed to increase children’s resilience, empathy and understanding of themselves.

Underpinned by principles from cognitive behavioural therapy and theory from positive psychology, lessons are taught directly by trained teachers or learning support assistants over four years, either replacing schools’ existing PSHE lessons, or being built into the school week at other times.

The trial of Healthy Minds ran from September 2013 until July 2018, and involved 34 schools and more than 9,000 pupils. The evaluation assessed the impact of this project on academic attainment, health-related outcomes, (results published in 2019) and absence and exclusions. The evaluation also included an implementation and process evaluation (IPE) with qualitative school case studies, staff interviews and pupil focus groups.

Whilst there was no evidence that Healthy Minds had an impact on academic attainment, there was some evidence that the programme led to lower levels of absence, especially amongst Year 7 pupils. Encouragingly, in schools that received the programme there was also some indication of fewer exclusions among pupils eligible for Free School Meals (FSM).

These findings have a low to moderate security rating.

Read the full report here.

Two further reports from EEF evaluations of educational programmes have also been published today:

The REAL programme

Raising Early Achievement in Literacy (REAL) is an intervention designed to support children’s early literacy development, building parents knowledge and confidence in creating a home learning environment to encourage early reading, writing and oral language.

Data collection for this trial was disrupted by Covid-19 so the evaluators were unable to make an assessment of the programme’s impact. However, the implementation and process evaluation (IPE) indicates that practitioners thought the programme had a positive impact on pupil outcomes.

Read the full report here

Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM)

PSQM is a developmental accreditation programme, which aims to improve science education in primary schools by developing science leadership through a rigorous process of school self- evaluation supported by CPD.

This trial, co-funded by the Wellcome Trust, was also heavily disrupted by the pandemic, and therefore it was not possible to estimate the impact of this project on science attainment. However, the IPE indicates that the profile of science in schools was raised and science leadership became more confident and credible.

Read the full report here