RCT Evaluation of “Incredible Years: Teachers Classroom Management”

 Privacy notice for schools

 Privacy notice for parents and carers

The Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) course is part of a suite of programmes for children, parents and teachers. The parent and child programmes have been researched extensively and have been shown to be extremely effective in reducing child problem behaviours and improving the child’s emotional wellbeing. The TCM course comprises a one-day session for teachers every month for six months. It is thought to help teachers support the behaviour of children and thus reduce disruption in the class, leading to a general improvement in academic attainment and social and emotional development. The focus is on collaborative learning, discussions of staff’s own experiences and group work to find solutions to problems encountered in the classroom. The following principles underpin the TCM approach:

  • The importance of attention, encouragement and praise
  • Motivating children through incentives
  • Preventing behavioural problems – promoting proactive teaching
  • Decreasing children’s inappropriate behaviours
  • Building positive relationships with children and encouraging them to problem solve.

Research suggests that although staff already use a lot of these techniques, the TCM course can increase their skills and confidence in using them and produce significant improvements in the behaviour of their pupils.

Who is conducting the trial?

The Education Trials Unit at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is conducting the trial. The University of Exeter is providing the TCM training. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is funding the trial.

What are the trial aims?

We want to know if training teachers with TCM improves children’s mathematics attainment, social and emotional development and their behaviour in school. In order to do this, and understand the reasons for any change for children whose teachers have received TCM training, we are conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT). As part of the trial we will also investigate if there are any changes in teachers’ classroom practice and sense of wellbeing as well as their views of the training and programme overall.

Which schools, staff and pupils will be involved?

The trial will involve around 140 primary schools across Bristol, Cornwall, Dorset, Liverpool and Southampton. Schools that are under Ofsted ‘special measures’, that are privately funded or that primarily cater for children with special educational needs will not be eligible.

The children in the study are all children currently in Reception. Schools have a 50% chance of being randomised to receive TCM and in the schools that do receive TCM, we want the study children to be taught by a TCM trained teacher for the next two years. Therefore, schools will need to identify which teachers are most likely to teach the study children when they are in Year 1 (19/20) and Year 2 (20/21). To be eligible to receive the training, teachers must have at least four days of teaching per week (unless both parts of a jobshare attend).

Each school will need to provide a named school contact for the duration of the trial. This person will act as the single point of contact between the school and the University of Exeter and NFER and could be a class teacher, teaching assistant, SENCO or a member of the leadership team. It does not need to be one of the trained teachers. The named contact will ensure the return of requested data and questionnaires, and ensure teachers are released and covered for the training days.

What will the trial involve for schools?

Date Activity

2018/19 Year
All schools

Schools sign up to take part in the trial, returning the signed Memorandum of Understanding to Exeter in the pre-paid envelope. All schools commit to honouring the condition they are placed in: intervention or control.

Schools will provide pupil lists/IDs for all current Reception children and the names of the teachers that will teach these children when they are in Year 1 (2019/20) and Year 2 (2020/21).

Schools will be provided with a parent letter, enabling parents to withdraw their child from data sharing.

All Reception teachers will complete questionnaires about each child’s social and emotional wellbeing and classroom behaviour. These take less than 5 minutes per child.

Jul 2019
All schools

Schools Randomised

Schools are randomly allocated to the intervention or control group. Schools will receive an email before the end of term confirming which group they have been allocated to and the next steps.

Sep 2019
All schools

All Year 1 and Year 2 teachers will complete questionnaires about their own classroom practice and sense of wellbeing.

Intervention schools will begin the training.

2019/20 Year
Intervention Schools

Year 1 and Year 2 teachers are released to attend six one-day workshops. Not all teachers have to be released on the same day if this makes timetabling easier.

All Year 1 and Year 2 teachers will incorporate TCM techniques into their teaching.

2019/20 & 2020/21 Years

Control Schools

All Year 1 and 2 teachers will teach in their normal way.

Jun 2020
All schools

All Year 1 teachers will complete questionnaires about each child’s social and emotional wellbeing and classroom behaviour, these take less than 5 minutes per child.

2020/21 Year
Intervention Schools

All Year 2 teachers will incorporate TCM techniques into their teaching. Year 1 teachers may continue to use TCM techniques if they choose to.

Jun 2021
All schools

All schools will provide NFER with raw scores for the study group’s Key Stage 1 mathematics assessment.

All Year 2 teachers will complete questionnaires about each child’s social and emotional wellbeing, classroom behaviour and relationship with their teacher. These take less than 10 minutes per child.

All Year 1 and Year 2 teachers will complete questionnaires about their own classroom practice and sense of wellbeing.

 

In addition, we will complete some interviews and observations in around ten schools in order to further understand teachers’ experiences of the training and delivering the intervention. Early Years Foundation Stage profiles and Key Stage 1 mathematics outcomes will be obtained from the National Pupil Database for all study children.

How will NFER and partners use and protect the data collected?

For information on how the parties involved in this research will gather, use and protect data, please refer to the Privacy Notice for the STARS: Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Management Evaluation, available for schools  here and for parents and carers here.

How will schools benefit from taking part?

All schools in the trial will contribute to the evidence-base on what works in supporting children’s mathematics attainment and social and emotional wellbeing in primary schools. Schools allocated to the intervention group will have the opportunity to receive free TCM training.

Do schools have to take part?

Schools only have to take part if they wish to do so. However, all data is important to the trial, and the NFER and the University of Exeter really appreciate schools’ support in participating in the trial. How will the findings be used? The findings from the project will be freely available on NFER’s and EEF’s website. They will be used to inform the education sector about improving mathematics attainment and social and emotional wellbeing in primary schools.

Who can I contact for more information?

Who to contact Telephone E-mail
Gemma Stone, NFER For queries about the research 01904 567647  g.stone@nfer.ac.uk
Jishi Jose, NFER For queries about providing data 01753 637205  incredibleyears@nfer.ac.uk
Rachel Hayes, University of Exeter Project Team For queries about signing up, training and intervention 01392 722978  r.a.hayes@exeter.ac.uk