Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have received £500,000 from the Education Endowment Fund to further enhance a study that supports teachers to improve behaviour in their classroom by developing their classroom management technique.
The study will seek to recruit 5,880 pupils in 140 primary schools nationwide. It builds on a previous study of more than 2,000 pupils in 80 schools in Devon, which found that the programme improved child behaviour, concentration and mental health. The research is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) PenCLAHRC. The funding is in addition to £1.85 million from the NIHR Public Health Research programme.
Disruptive behaviour in the classroom has an adverse effect on both teachers and pupils. It is a common source of stress for teachers and often a catalyst for leaving the profession. For pupils it may affect mental health, academic attainment and adversely impact on all children in a classroom.
The team from the University of Exeter will use the new funding to further an ongoing study which started six years ago, analysing the success of a training programme called the Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Management Programme.
The study is called Supporting Teachers and Children in Schools (STARS) and its aim has been and is to promote social and emotional wellbeing in the classroom. The work is important for all teachers and pupils, but especially those who form part of the 10% of children who have a mental health condition. Children with ‘conduct disorder’ are at risk of developing adult mental health conditions, as well as achieving poor educational and social outcomes.
Teachers will receive training over six whole-day workshops delivered over six months. The focus of the workshops will be on collaborative learning – discussions of teachers’ own experiences and group work – to find solutions to problems encountered in the classroom.
The additional funding from the Education Endowment Foundation will allow the team to develop ‘STARS 2’. It will involve a larger number of schools and will train more than one teacher per school. It will follow pupils’ progress through to STARS-trained teachers’ classes. While the primary outcome will be maths scores on standardised tests, there will also be with a focus on teacher-pupil relationshipsand mental health.
The study is led by Professor Tamsin Ford, of the University of Exeter Medical School.
She said: “We are grateful to the Education Endowment Foundation for this additional funding because it allows us to undertake more detailed research into areas highlighted as important by our previous study. It also allows us to investigate areas identified as important by teachers. Ultimately we will gain a greater understanding of teacher/pupil relationships, which in turn can help to develop new ways of working in the classroom – to the benefit of pupils and teachers.”
The video below shows results of earlier study: