Funded by What Works for Children’s Social Care, Coram carried out a mixed-methods pilot evaluation in academic year 2020/21 of a school-based Family Action intervention , designed and delivered by Family Action, called the Behaviour Outreach Support Service. Our plans for the evaluation were published in 2020. It aimed to help schools improve their support to pupils who display challenging behaviour. BOSS was delivered to 77 pupils aged 5 to 11, who have or have had a social worker, in eight primary schools in York. Our methods were: semi-structured interviews with pupils, parents, carers, teachers, BOSS staff and York council staff, administrative data collection and analysis, case files review, paper diaries completed by pupils, and an online survey for school staff.
The Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS) aims to help schools improve their support to pupils who display challenging behaviour that compromises their learning and attendance. Run by the charity Family Action, the BOSS programme was delivered to 77 pupils aged 5 to 11, who have or have had a social worker in the past six years, in eight primary schools in York in the academic year 2020/21. BOSS consisted of weekly school-based 1:1 sessions between BOSS workers and pupils, of around 45 minutes, for an average of 15 weeks, plus training for school staff and some parents/carers. Family Action is currently implementing a similar model in Lincolnshire schools and has a secondary school model of BOSS, outside the scope of this report. Coram carried out a mixed methods evaluation of the pilot programme.
Our evaluation was designed to answer the following key questions:
- Was the programme implemented as planned across the schools, and in relation tothe previous Lincolnshire model, in the New York context? Why or why not?
- How different or similar is BOSS to behaviour-management-as-usual in theparticipating schools?
- What were children’s, parents’ and carers’, teachers’, and social workers’ experiencesof the programme?
- What was the cost of implementing the programme?
Secondary research questions included exploring the perceived impacts and consequences of BOSS, including whether it changed the support available to target children,