Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
The SHINE in Secondaries programme is a programme delivered by schools. There has been some research over the last nine years looking at the impact of a similar SHINE primary school programme, which has been promising. The SHINE in Secondaries programme runs for 25 Saturdays during the school year. It is aimed at children in Year 7 who are disadvantaged or underachieving and aims to support and develop literacy and numeracy skills as well as improving self-confidence and social skills for those that attend. It uses small class sizes and a creative and interactive curriculum to support students’ learning. This is a small initial (pilot) study in four schools which is being conducted to find out if the SHINE programme helps to improve pupils’ literacy and numeracy ability over the school year. We will also look at any differences in attitudes to school or to learning for the children that attend the SHINE programme compared to those that don’t.

Who can participate?
This study involves children in Year 7 who attend schools funded by SHINE to run the SHINE in Secondaries programme. Children will be selected as eligible to attend the programme based on their score on a literacy test completed in school before the programme starts. The children who are the lowest achieving on the test (who score below a first cut-off point) will be invited to attend the programme. Children who score in the middle (between the two cut-off points) are placed on a waiting list and may have the opportunity to attend the programme if some lower achieving children do not take up their place.

What does the study involve?
This study involves around 700 children in Year 7 in four secondary schools. In each school all Year 7 children will complete a literacy test at the beginning of the school year. Based on the results of this test, children will either be eligible for the programme or not (as described above). Schools will invite all eligible children to attend the SHINE in Secondaries programme at their schools. Should there be spaces at the beginning of the programme an appropriate number of children from the waiting list can be invited to attend. Those that accept the invitation should then attend the SHINE in Secondaries programme each Saturday for 25 weeks through the year. Those children who were not eligible to attend (i.e. they scored higher than the cut-off point) should not be invited or allowed to attend the programme (control group). These children do not receive an alternative programme. At the end of the school year, after the SHINE in Secondaries programme is finished, all the Year 7 children will complete an assessment in literacy (PiE 12) and in numeracy as well as a questionnaire about social skills and attitudes to school. The results of the children who attended the SHINE programme will then be compared to the results of the pupils in the control group, to find out the effect the programme had on improving literacy, numeracy and social skills.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participating pupils who are eligible for the programme will have the opportunity to attend the Saturday School programme. The activities at the programme are designed to be interactive and fun and to engage pupils. The programme will give them extra support with academic work and may improve their literacy and numeracy skills, leading to better future outcomes. As the programme is for children who are underachieving there may be a stigma attached to attending. However, eligible pupils will have the choice whether to attend the programme or not. The programme is designed to be different from school, fun and engaging, and pupils should enjoy attending. This has been the experience with the intervention in other areas.

Where is the study run from?
The independent evaluation is being conducted by Durham University. The schools involved are in London and Manchester, UK.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study started in January 2013 and runs until September 2014.

Who is funding the study?
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), UK.

Who is the main contact?
Principal Investigator: Professor Carole Torgerson,
Trial Manager: Victoria Menzies,

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Carole Torgerson


Contact details

School of Education
Durham University
Leazes Road
United Kingdom
0191 334 8382

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

An independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the SHINE in Secondaries Saturday School programme at improving literacy and numeracy for children in Year 7: a pilot study using regression discontinuity design



Study hypothesis

What is the impact of the SHINE in Secondaries Saturday School programme on literacy, numeracy and social skills outcomes at post-test, for children who are invited to attend the programme?

Ethics approval

Ethics approval obtained from the Board of Ethics for the School of Education, Durham University on 30th July 2013.

Study design

Regression discontinuity design with two cut-off points and tie-breaker randomisation

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format. Please use the contact details below to request a school and parent information letter.


Secondary Education


Intervention: The SHINE in Secondaries Saturday School programme which runs for four hours per Saturday for 25 Saturdays over the school year. The programme is delivered by the schools and is supported by the SHINE Trust. The intervention will include interactive and creative lessons including literacy and numeracy as well as lessons in other education topics and will involve trips and other activities which aim to give the children access to experiences that they wouldn’t normally get. It will involve small class sizes of up to twenty-four pupils taught by a teacher, and supported by a teaching assistant and a peer mentor from an older year group in the school. Eligible pupils will be expected to attend the majority of sessions.

Control: ‘Business as usual’ – control pupils will not be eligible to attend the SHINE programme.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Achievement in literacy as measured by the GL assessment Progress in English 12 which will be delivered in its paper form in June/July 2014 after the intervention is complete. Standardised scores derived from the assessment will be used.

Secondary outcome measures

1. Achievement in numeracy as measured by the GL assessment Progress in Maths 12 which will be delivered in its paper form in June/July 2014 after the intervention is complete.
2. Social skills as measured by a social skills and attitudes questionnaire completed in June/July 2014 after the intervention is complete.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Secondary schools will be eligible to participate if they are awarded a grant by the SHINE Trust, through a competitive process, to run the SHINE in Secondaries programme. The criteria required is that schools are expecting to have at least 80 children coming into Year 7 who have not achieved a National Curriculum level 4 (as required by the funder) and to serve areas of disadvantage as measured by a higher than average proportion of children on free school meals. They also must have the ability, capacity and commitment to run the SHINE in Secondaries programme as judged by the SHINE Trust.
2. All Year 7 pupils in each participating school will participate in the study unless parents choose to opt-out of their child’s data being used.
3. Although all Year 7 pupils will participate, assignment to the intervention or control group will be done using a literacy test; those scoring below a first cut-point will be in the intervention group, those scoring above a second cut-point will be in the control group and those scoring between the two cut-points will be placed on a waiting list in a random order should there be available spaces before the intervention begins.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Schools not awarded a grant by the SHINE trust will be excluded.
2. Eligible Year 7 children whose parents do not wish their child’s data to be used will also be excluded.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

School of Education
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Durham University

Sponsor details

Research Office
Durham University
First Floor
Maple Block
Mountjoy Centre
Stockton Road
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes