Evaluation of stars: Incredible years teacher classroom management

Sarah Tang, Kerry Martin, Eleanor Bradley, Ruth Staunton, Chris Morton, Ben Styles and Caroline Sharp

23 September 2022

Research report is available on the Education Endowment Foundation website

This is an evaluation of the Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Management (IY®-TCM) programme. IY®-TCM is a continuing professional development programme which aims to develop teachers’ classroom management techniques, improve behaviour in the classroom, reduce disruption to learning, and increase attainment. Due to the disruption to statutory testing in schools relating to the Covid-19 pandemic the impact of the programme on attainment could not be measured as planned. Disruption to school attendance due to Covid-19 also meant the exposure pupils had to the IY®-TCM strategies was not as high as anticipated as the majority of pupils were not in school for some of the trial period. 


Key Findings

Due to Covid-19, the primary outcome for this evaluation was not collected, so no measure of impact on KS1 maths attainment is reported. Key findings are based on secondary non-cognitive measures and qualitative data from the implementation and process evaluation.

The secondary outcome measures found no evidence that the IY®-TCM programme influences behaviour, social and emotional wellbeing, concentration, prosocial behaviour or student-teacher relationships for pupils receiving the intervention compared to pupils in the control group. These results are based on surveys completed by Year 2 teachers at the end of the project, comparing outcomes for those pupils whose teachers had access to the IY®-TCM training compared to pupils whose teachers had not. However, due to low response rates, they are based on 55 per cent of pupils in the trial. Furthermore, 21 per cent of the pupils in the second year of the trial were taught by teachers who were not on the training register for the IY®-TCM training, so these pupils did not have any exposure to the trained teachers when in Year 2.

Only 60 per cent of the intervention teachers attended four or more of the training sessions (out of a potential six). Pupils of those teachers demonstrated better behaviour compared to the control group, using surveys completed by classroom teachers at the end of the trial. This impact was small and there may be other differences between teachers that attended sessions and those that did not which could contribute to the difference in impact.

Teachers who attended the training showed larger improvement in perceived self-efficacy compared to those in the control schools, when measured through surveys at the start and end of the trial. However, this finding is based on fewer than half of teachers in the trial.

Findings from interviews with teachers, the developer team, and trainers suggest that the combination of the costs to schools in releasing all Year 1 and Year 2 teachers and covering for their absence from the classroom was a factor in the low attendance of training sessions, when considered alongside the perceived value of the programme in addressing schools' needs.