The Double Club Evaluation

Peter Rudd, Caroline Sharp, Ben Styles, Tilaye Yeshanew, Sarah Wilson, Caroline Bergeron

25 March 2010

Research report available to download from DFE

Research brief available to download from DCSF

The Department for Children, Schools and Families commissioned NFER to undertake an evaluation of Double Club (DC). This initiative aims to improve the attainment, especially in literacy and numeracy, of underachieving pupils in Key Stage 3 (KS3). The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the DC programme, to identify good practice and to provide evidence on how best to operationalise DC in a wider roll out. Strand 1 of the evaluation provided detailed information from five case-study schools. Strand 2 examined the impact of DC on pupil attainment by comparing the KS3 progress of DC pupils with the progress of similar pupils who had not attended the programme.

Key Findings

  • The DC has been a positive programme in that it has been successful in achieving its aims of motivating and re-engaging underachieving young people. Its success factors were found to be its appeal to schools and young people; pupil selection; learning content, style and environment; and sport coaching sessions.
  • Teachers and young people perceived the DC programme very positively. They saw it as an opportunity for lower-attaining young people to access additional support with their learning. Young people enjoyed taking part in DC: they thought it had helped to improve their learning and self-confidence.
  • However, sophisticated statistical analyses found those who attended DC performed less well in English and mathematics at KS3. There are a number of possible explanations for this finding (it does not necessarily mean that DC caused the negative results).
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