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Research reports and publications

This section contains details of primary research, systematic literature reviews, thematic reports from Ofsted and evaluations of national initiatives related to behaviour and engagement in learning.

DfES (2003) What works in developing children's emotional and social competence and well-being? DfES Research Report 456

Report examining how children's emotional and social competence and wellbeing could most effectively be developed at national and local level and identifying those broad approaches which show most promise. The study involved a literature review, case study work in five local education authorities (LEAs) and interviews with professionals working in the field.


Wired for Health (2003) Literature search on the links between emotional wellbeing and participation and progression in learning

A useful summary of evidence related to emotional wellbeing produced for the Healthy Schools Programme. Not a full literature search in the academic sense but it does identify a select range of texts that could be considered key documents including a number of systematic reviews. The purpose was to identify evidence to demonstrate that there is a relationship between emotional wellbeing and:

  • raising achievement
  • school improvement and effectiveness (specifically teaching and learning; behaviour and attendance and staff recruitment and retention)
  • social inclusion and good health


Ofsted (2009) Twelve outstanding secondary schools. Excelling against the odds

This report provides some evidence-based answers to the question 'Why do some schools succeed brilliantly against all the odds while others in more favourable circumstances struggle?' It draws from the practice, experience and ambition of 12 schools in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the country. They have worked with those communities to raise their hopes and aspirations along with the achievements of their young people. These schools refuse to accept a challenging context as a barrier to success.


Ofsted (2009) An evaluation of National Strategy intervention programmes (070256)

This small-scale survey evaluated the impact of National Strategy approaches to intervention on pupils working just below national expectations in a small sample of 12 primary and nine secondary schools. Intervention was more effective in the primary schools than in the secondary schools visited and stemmed from careful analysis of pupils' weaknesses, flexible planning of programmes, thorough training of key staff and effective monitoring and evaluation. Good leadership and management contributed to the successful impact.


Ofsted (2007) Developing social, emotional and behavioural skills in secondary schools (070048)

The Developing social, emotional and behavioural skills pilot programme, was introduced to 54 schools in five local authorities in the summer term of 2005 and to a sixth authority one term later. Ofsted evaluated the pilot programme over five terms in 11 schools. The schools were selected to represent a range of types of school. After five terms, the greatest impact in the schools was on teachers' attitudes towards the idea of social, emotional and behavioural skills and their understanding of how to develop these skills systematically within subject lessons. Where the pilot was most effective, teachers adjusted teaching methods to take account of the pupils' specific needs. As a result, pupils worked better in teams, were better able to recognise and articulate their feelings, and showed greater respect for each other's differences and strengths.


Ofsted (2008) Good practice in re-engaging disaffected and reluctant students in secondary schools (070255)

This report draws on a survey of 29 secondary schools, including one academy and one pupil referral unit, to identify sustained good practice in re-engaging disaffected students in their learning. The report illustrates the good practice in the schools visited and what might be achieved by others when reviewing support for disaffected students. The report emphasises the importance of also engaging parents and carers in supporting young people.


HMI (2006) Improving behaviour: lessons learned from HMI monitoring of secondary schools where behaviour had been judged unsatisfactory (HMI 2377),

This report is based on the progress made in 2005 and 2006 by secondary schools which had been judged to have unsatisfactory behaviour following routine institutional inspections. It highlights that the most successful schools did not deal with behaviour in isolation but tackled it as part of a wider school improvement strategy. They set out to motivate students and raise achievement by improving teaching, making learning more enjoyable and giving wider choices in the curriculum.


HMI (2008) Improving behaviour and attendance in secondary schools 2005

The Behaviour Improvement Programme, funded by the DfES, aims to reduce non-attendance and exclusion while improving pupils' behaviour. It targets schools serving complex catchment areas. Ofsted inspectors have, over a two-year period, monitored the development of the programme. These leaflets focus on what has been most effective where there is room for improvement.

Scottish Executive (2007) Restorative practices in three Scottish councils: Evaluation of pilot projects 2004-2006

Restorative practices in an educational context are defined as restoring good relationships when there has been conflict or harm and developing school ethos, policies and procedures to reduce the possibility of such conflict and harm arising. The evaluation indicates that restorative practices, as they are developing in the pilot LAs and schools, can offer a powerful and effective approach to promoting harmonious relationships in school and to the successful resolution of conflict and harm.


Powell S, Tod J (2004) A systematic review of how theories explain learning behaviour in school contexts. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

The issue of how best to train and support teachers to manage pupil behaviour is an issue of considerable importance if policies for increased inclusion, raising attainment and widening participation are to be effectively enacted in educational settings. One way to enhance opportunities for in this area is t This systematic review was commissioned by the Teacher Training Agency to help build the evidence base of theoretical explanations for learning behaviour to support tutors in providing effective initial teacher education (ITE) training for behaviour management.


Evans J, Harden A, Thomas J, Benefield P (2003) Support for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) in mainstream primary classrooms: a systematic review of the effectiveness of interventions. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London

This review assesses the effectiveness of different strategies for supporting children with EBD in mainstream primary classrooms in ways that facilitate teaching and learning for all children.


Harden A, Thomas J, Evans J, Scanlon M, Sinclair J (2003) Supporting pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) in mainstream primary schools: a systematic review of recent research on strategy effectiveness (1999 to 2002). In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London

Many different strategies for teachers to support children have been advocated.  This review considers which of these strategies are effective, for whom, and in what circumstances.  It also aims to identify way to support trainee teachers to use such strategies.

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