Education Endowment Foundation:The Good Behaviour Game

The Good Behaviour Game

Mentor UK
Implementation cost
Evidence strength
Impact (months)
Independent Evaluator
University of Manchester
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Testing the impact of an intervention to improve behaviour in primary education
Pupils: 3084 Schools: 77 Grant: £820k
Key Stage: 1 Duration: 4 year(s) 6 month(s) Type of Trial: Efficacy Trial
Completed Jul 2018

The Good Behaviour Game (GBG) is a classroom management approach designed to improve student behaviour and build confidence and resilience. The game is played in groups and rewards students for good behaviour

Behaviour is a major concern for both teachers and students. EEF funded this project because GBG is an established programme, and previous evidence suggests it can improve behaviour, and may have a longer-term impact on attainment.

This trial found no evidence that GBG improves pupils’ reading skills or their behaviour (concentration, disruptive behaviour and pro-social behaviour) on average. There was also no effect found on teacher outcomes such as stress and teacher retention. However, there was some tentative evidence that boys at-risk of developing conduct problems showed improvements in behaviour

Most classes in the trial played the game less often and for shorter time periods than recommended, and a quarter of schools stopped before the end of the trial. However, classes who followed the programme closely did not get better results.

GBG is strictly manualised and this raised some challenges. In particular, some teachers felt the rule that they should not interact with students during the game was difficult for students with additional needs, and while some found that students got used to the challenge and thrived, others found the removal of their support counter-productive. The EEF will continue to look for effective programmes which support classroom management.

There was tentative evidence that boys identified as at-risk of developing conduct problems at the beginning of the project benefitted from the GBG. For these children, small reductions in concentration problems and disruptive behaviour were observed.

Project type:Efficacy Trial
Key stage:Key Stage 2
Delivered by:Teachers
Participant group:Whole Class
Intervention length:2
Cost per pupil:£37
No. of Teachers/​TAs:Variable
Staff training duration:3