Intervention details

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The Incredible Years

Not evaluated for Primary social and emotional
Not evaluated for Secondary social and emotional

Intervention description

The Incredible Years is composed of training programmes for children, parents, and teachers. The child programme is designed for children (ages 0–12) with challenging behaviours and focuses on building social and emotional skills. Lessons can be delivered to children referred for difficult behaviour or to an entire classroom as a preventative measure.

The child programme consists of 20- to 30-minute lessons two to three times a week; these lessons are reinforced by small-group activities, practising skills throughout the day, and communicating with parents. Lessons cover recognizing and understanding feelings, getting along with friends, anger management, problem solving, and behaviour at school.

Parent training programmes focus on positive discipline, promoting learning and development, and involvement in children’s life at school.

Professional development/training

Training is available at different levels and for different age groups. Consultations are available over telephone or Skype with accredited Incredible Years trainers.

Evidence Summary

The Blueprints For Healthy Youth Development review rates The Incredible Years - Teacher Classroom Management as a promising programme for impact on a range of social, emotional and behavioural outcomes.

The What Works Clearinghouse (2008) found Incredible Years to have potentially positive effects on external behaviour and social outcomes for children classified as having an emotional disturbance.

The Education Endowment Foundation are currently running a project to investigate the effectiveness of the Incredible Years across 140 schools, the primary outcomes will be maths attainment at KS1. Secondary outcomes will be pupil wellbeing, pupil behaviour in class, and relationships between teachers and pupils. The evaluation should be available in summer 2022.

Key research

The Education Endowment Foundation evaluation should be available in summer 2022.

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