The study is evaluating the Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS), delivered by Family Action. Since 2016, Family Action has delivered BOSS to schools in Lincolnshire and the new pilot is based in York in partnership with York City Council. BOSS provides a range of services that will help primary schools improve their ability to support pupils displaying behaviour that challenges and compromises their learning and school attendance, or the learning of their peers. The services include a package of support for each school to embed restorative, trauma and attachment informed approaches, delivered through tailored support for each school. It also includes staff training and consultancy support, as well as Behaviour Intervention Plans with one to one sessions with each child and parent/carer support for 80-90 children and their families.
The eligibility criteria for the study is Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children (Year 1 – 6) who have or have had a social worker in the last six years. This cohort of children have significantly lower attainment than their peers. It is therefore crucial to identify effective interventions that close the attainment gap in education to stop these pupils falling behind.
This research builds on a report What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) released in February 2020 which revisited 63 trials funded by the Education Endowment Foundation to determine what works in education for children who have had social workers. It resulted in WWCSC in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE) to hold an open call for three school-based programmes which aim to increase educational attainment for children with a social worker.
The mixed-methods pilot evaluation will evaluate the experience and early signs of the impact of the BOSS programme. The evaluation will combine administrative, qualitative and survey data in order to establish the effects of the BOSS intervention and impacts.
The implementation and process evaluation will consist of surveys and interviews with beneficiary children and stakeholders (including school staff and social workers), child diaries, case file review, and a cost evaluation.
Due to COVID-related restrictions, some of the listed outcome measures and timelines may be delayed or need to be adapted.