Author: Amy Challen, Philip Noden, Anne West, Stephen Machin
Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science /University College London
Full reference: Challen, A. R., Machin, S. J. et al. (2010). UK Resilience Programme Evaluation: Second Interim Report. Research Report DCSF-RR094. London: Department for Children, Schools and Families.
The UK Resilience Programme (UKRP) aims to improve children’s psychological well-being by building resilience and promoting positive thinking. It was launched in three local authorities in the academic year 2007-08, with workshops delivered to Year 7 pupils in secondary schools. This report presents interim findings for the evaluation of the UKRP, commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The evaluation aims to investigate whether the programme (previously trialed in small samples) can be delivered at scale; whether it has an impact on children’s well-being; and if so, whether this will have an impact on behaviour, attendance and academic attainment.
The study found a significant short-run improvement in pupils’ depression symptom scores and school attendance rates. There was also a smaller impact on anxiety. On average the effect of the workshops lasted only as long as the academic year but there was still an impact for certain groups at the one-year follow-up. The size of the impact varied depending on how workshops were organised, and also by pupil characteristics.
Information on pupils’ well-being was collected through questionnaires administered before and after the programme to pupils who had participated in the first year of UKRP workshops and to a control group, as well as at several follow-up points. In addition, interviews with pupils, facilitators (workshop leaders) and school managers were carried out. Quantitative work examined what had happened to the original cohort of pupils over time (those in workshops in 2007-8), while interviews looked at the current implementation of UKRP in the original case study schools. The final report will be available in early 2011.