Education Endowment Foundation:STARS: Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management

STARS: Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management

University of Exeter
Independent Evaluator
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Testing the impact of a classroom management programme on children’s mental health, behaviour and academic attainment.

Pupils: 6300 Schools: 140 Grant: £497,712
Participating settings: 140

This project and its evaluation were affected by the 2020 and 2021 partial school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, some of the impact measurement collection has not been possible and the evaluation will not be completed as originally intended. The evaluation protocol has been updated to reflect these changes.

Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (IY – TCM) supports teachers to improve behaviour in their classroom by developing their classroom management technique. Studies estimate between three and six children in each school class will have significant social, emotional or behavioural difficulties that impair their current and future life prospects. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are even more likely to be affected by these issues. This programme supports the whole class and should be particularly helpful for students with behavioural difficulties.

Training takes place over six whole-day workshops delivered over six months. The programme covers multiple strategies for decreasing inappropriate behaviour, and encourages teachers to support students to regulate their own emotions. The focus is on collaborative learning, discussions of teachers’ own experiences and group work to find solutions to problems encountered in the classroom. The course is delivered by trained behaviour support workers, and the materials taught can be integrated into all lessons the teachers deliver.

IY – TCM is part of a complementary suite of interventions created by Incredible Years® to support teachers, parents and children themselves to improve emotional regulation and social competence in 3 – 8 year-olds.

IY – TCM is a popular programme internationally with four RCTs showing strong evidence of effects on behavioural outcomes, including two from the UK. The general evidence for behaviour programmes suggests that improving behaviour can improve attainment. For example, a recent high-quality meta-analysis of teacher classroom management approaches (Korpershoek, 2017) found that classroom management interventions have a significant effect on various student outcome measures, including attainment. Programmes such as IY – TCM that incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) were found to have the biggest effects, particularly on SEL outcomes but also on attainment. This programme is the best established, having been trialled in several countries, as well as being trialled in England recently by the delivery team.

This two-armed RCT is an efficacy trial, testing the programme in ideal conditions. 140 schools will be randomised either into the intervention or business-as-usual control group. Training takes place over 6 months, for Year 1 and Year 2 teachers, and we will gather the Year 2 SATs results at the end of the second year of the project.

The primary outcome will be maths attainment at KS1. Secondary outcomes will be pupil wellbeing, pupil behaviour in class, and relationships between teachers and pupils.

The evaluation report will be published in summer 2022.