Kay Kinder, Caroline Gulliver, Kerry Martin, Karen Halsey, Annie Johnson
01 December 2005
Behaviour and Education Support Teams (BESTs) are multi-agency teams, which bring together a range of professionals, working to support schools, families and children (aged 5 to 18) who present or are at risk of developing emotional, behavioural and/or attendance problems. Teams include professionals from the fields of education, social care, health and other. The focus of BEST work is identification, prevention and early intervention, to promote emotional well-being, positive behaviour and school attendance.
In order to provide further evidence and understanding of the effectiveness of BESTs, the NFER was commissioned by the DfES to undertake a two-stage evaluation. The initial stage of research entailed telephone interviews with 20 BEST coordinators/BIP managers, with a focus on operational features and associated issues. This was followed by fieldwork visits to a sample of 12 case-study BESTs (selected from the original 20) during which other team members and school representatives (e.g. lead behaviour professionals) were interviewed. At this point, the evaluation sought to gather evidence of impact and factors which contributed towards the effectiveness of each BEST. In total 92 interviews were conducted for the second part of study. This report combines key findings from both stages of the evaluation.