In 2005, NFER was commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to evaluate the secondary Social, Emotional and Behavioural Skills (SEBS) pilot. The aim of the pilot was to encourage secondary schools to take a whole-school approach to developing social, emotional and behavioural skills amongst staff and pupils and to integrate it in to their existing work. Six local authorities (LAs) were selected to take part in the pilot comprising just over 50 schools.
The experience and learning from the secondary SEBS pilot has been drawn on to help create the secondary Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme which is to be rolled out to 15-20 per cent of secondary schools in the first year (2007-08) followed by a phased introduction to all secondary schools.
- overall, the SEBS pilot was well received by pilot schools and LAs and staff valued and were committed to the underlying principles of the pilot programme.
- having a clear steer within the local authority regarding the SEBS pilot was important. This meant identifying the range of personnel that needed to be involved, outlining the purpose of their involvement and highlighting how the pilot fitted with and complemented existing local authority priorities and ways of working.
- LAs found it useful to allocate time to provide feedback to colleagues in their own and in other services viewing this as an important component in keeping everyone briefed on the latest developments and providing opportunities for collaborative work. In particular, it encouraged a multi-agency approach to the delivery of the pilot which was felt to be key to delivering a coherent message that would support whole-authority commitment to SEBS and a whole-school approach.
- The implementation of the SEBS programme appeared to be 'a dynamic process', with schools gradually developing and expanding the SEBS work they had undertaken. Most school staff viewed the SEBS programme as a long-term project that would develop and become more embedded in the school over time.
- Schools were positive about the support they had received during the pilot. The main sources of support for schools appeared to be the Behaviour and Attendance (B and A) consultants and the local network meetings for pilot schools. The local network meetings provided schools with the opportunity to meet other pilot schools and exchange ideas and good practice, while the B and A consultants provided schools with more targeted support in particular areas of the implementation of the SEBS pilot, either through visits, or remote contact.
- In considering how the programme could best ensure impact in the future, interviewees highlighted a number of factors they felt may be important. These included: maintaining a whole-school approach, changing cultures and attitudes, involving the right people, commissioning resources and linking with the bigger picture.
How to cite this publication:
Smith, P., O'Donnell, L., Easton, C. and Rudd, P. (2007). Secondary Social, Emotional and Behavioural Skills (SEBS) Pilot Evaluation (DCSF Research Report 003). London: DCSF.
Smith, P., O'Donnell, L., Easton, C. and Rudd, P. (2007). Secondary Social, Emotional and Behavioural Skills (SEBS) Pilot Evaluation (DCSF Research Brief 003). London: DCSF.