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. It 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 dont.
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 complete a literacy test at the beginning of the school year. Based on the results of this test, children are either eligible for the programme or not (as described above). Schools 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 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 are then 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?
January 2013 to September 2014
Who is funding the study?
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) (UK)
Who is the main contact?
1. Prof. Carole Torgerson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Victoria Menzies (email@example.com)
Prof Carole Torgerson
School of Education
+44 (0)191 334 8382
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
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?
Board of Ethics for the School of Education, Durham University, 30/07/2013
Regression discontinuity design with two cut-off points and tie-breaker randomisation
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format. Please use the contact details to request a school and parent information letter.
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 wouldnt 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.
Primary outcome measure
Achievement in literacy, 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, 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, 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 (if study stopped)
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 childs 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.
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 childs data to be used will also be excluded.
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Education Endowment Foundation (UK)
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
Basic results (scientific)