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
There is a reasonable amount of research examining the role and impact of mentoring and one-to-one coaching in a wide variety of environments and contexts but there is very little evidence that mentoring programmes are successful in raising educational achievement and aspirations of young people. This study seeks to fill this evidence gap through the evaluation of 'Think Forward': a programme that provides one-to-one coaching for young people. The main objective of this test study is to examine the feasibility of undertaking a larger scale evaluation of 'ThinkForward'.

Who can participate?
Year 10 and Year 11 pupils in four London secondary schools can participate.

What does the study involve?
Firstly, initial data will be collected from administrative records and directly from pupils via a survey. Two of the schools will be randomly selected to become 'intervention' schools, whilst the two remaining will become the control group. Within both intervention schools, 40 pupils (in both Year 10 and Year 11) will be identified as being eligible for the coaching program by Think Forward. Then half of these 40 pupils will be randomly selected to take part in the 'Think Forward' programme, the half remaining will become the control group. Interviews with Think Forward coaches, participating pupils and school staff will also be undertaken.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are potential benefits on educational outcomes for pupils selected into the 'ThinkForward' intervention group. Some of these benefits may spill over from the intervention group to other pupils (friends / siblings). There is an unknown risk around how pupils (and/ or their parents) might react to being placed in the control group - which is why the study is being initially run in a small scale.

Where is the study run from?
The study will take place in four London secondary schools, UK.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run?
The study began in November 2013 and will run until the end of the 2014/15 academic year.

Who is funding the study?
The Educational Endowment Foundation, UK.

Who is the main contact?
Mr Sean Demack

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Mr Sean Demack


Contact details

Centre for Eductation & Inclusion Research (CEIR)
Sheffield Hallam University
City Campus - Unit 7
Science Park
S1 1WB
United Kingdom
+44 (0)114 225 6055

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A pilot randomised controlled trial evaluation of a Year 10 / Year 11 coaching programme (ThinkForward)


Study hypothesis

1. How feasible is pupil level randomisation in evaluating 'Think Forward'?
2. What is the impact of the Think Forward mentoring programme on a set of measurable outcomes including attainment?
3. How does the Think Forward mentoring scheme operate to produce these outcomes?

Ethics approval

Sheffield Hallam University Ethics Committee, 25 June 2013, ref: AM/SW/19-2013

Study design

Pilot randomised controlled trial

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 participant information sheet


Educational intervention in secondary schools


The four schools will be randomised to intervention and control schools (two schools in each group).
Among the intervention schools, in each year group, 20 pupils will randomly selected to receive ThinkForward and the remaining 20 will be placed in the control group.

The intervention will involve ThinkForward coaches having one-to-one meetings with pupils to encourage greater engagement with education and develop skills in future planning.

The intervention will have two duration periods. For pupils in Year 11, the period will be around 6 months, for pupils in Year 10 it will be after 6 months and the end of their Year 11 (so 1.5 years).

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Change in attainment - KS3 to KS4(GCSE)
Attainment at Key Stage 3 (baseline) and Key Stage 4 (at the end of Year 11 – so 2 years for Year 10, 1 year for Year 11) – change between these measures (which are collected via public examinations).

Secondary outcome measures

1. Change in future employment and educational expectations
2. Change in school attendance
3. Change in 2 'mind set' constructs - 'Aspiration' and 'Determination'

Secondary outcomes include attendance – which also will be collected from administrative data at baseline and the end of the intervention periods.
A questionnaire will be used to collect detail on future educational and employment expectations and ‘mindsets’ at baseline, after 6 months (both Y10 and Y11) and at the end of the 1.5 years (just for those who began in Y10).

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

Using administrative data on Year 10 and 11 pupils in four London secondary schools, ThinkForward will identify 40 pupils most at-risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) following the completion of full-time education.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

320 Year 10 and Year 11 pupils in 4 London secondary schools

Participant exclusion criteria

Any pupil who completes an opt-out form will not be included.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Centre for Eductation & Inclusion Research (CEIR)
S1 1WB
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Educational Endowment Foundation (UK)

Sponsor details

9th Floor
Millbank Tower
21 – 24 Millbank
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) (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