Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
29/01/2015
Date assigned
10/02/2015
Last edited
25/01/2016
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
Recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Buttle UK is a grant-making organisation that supports individuals in a variety of ways, including providing support to overcome an immediate crisis and putting plans in place to ensure children have the best possible chance of a successful education. In March 2014 over 397,000 children in England were considered to be in need of services from their local authority in order to maintain a reasonable standard of health and development. Buttle UK would like to extend the support they offer by proactively identifying children in need of support from their local authorities, and their families, who would not routinely seek either their support or consider boarding school education. The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of local authorities offering boarding school as an early intervention for children in need (as defined by the Children Act 1989) or a child who has a Child Protection Plan, compared to not offering boarding school for children in need or those who have a Child Protection Plan.

Who can participate?
Children who are, or about to go into, year 6/7 (throughout the academic year), identified as “children in need” or who have a Child Protection Plan by their local authority, and who are prepared to be followed-up by the evaluation team.

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated into one of two groups. Those in group 1 are offered a place at a boarding school. Those in group 2 follow their expected educational path, which is most likely to be attendance at a local state secondary school. Children allocated to the boarding school arms of the trial are supported by Buttle UK and social services to attend these institutions from year 7 until year 13. The support for the boarding school arms cover all immediate costs related to attending the schools. Assessments at the end of the study includes comparisons of maths scores between the children in each group of the study.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Benefits of taking part in this study include potential improvements in academic achievement, health and wellbeing of the children/ There are no risks to taking part in the study.

Where is the study run from?
1. York Trials Unit, University of York (UK)
2. School of Education, Durham University (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
February 2014 to March 2024

Who is funding the study?
Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Professor David Torgerson

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Public

Primary contact

Prof David Torgerson

ORCID ID

Contact details

York Trials Unit
Department of Health Sciences
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

v2.0; 22/01/2015

Study information

Scientific title

Independent evaluation of the Buttle UK ‘Children in Need’ school places project: a Zelen’s randomised controlled trial

Acronym

Study hypothesis

Current hypothesis as of 12/01/2016:
What is the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of local authorities offering boarding school as an early intervention for children in need (as defined by the Children Act 1989) or children on a Child Protection Plan compared to not offering boarding school for children in need?

Previous hypothesis:
What is the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of local authorities offering boarding school as an early intervention for children in need (as defined by the Children Act 1989) compared to not offering boarding school for children in need?

Ethics approval

1. Durham University School of Education Ethics Committee, 12/11/2015, ref: 2152
2. University of York Health Sciences Research Governance Committee, 29/10/2015

Study design

Current study design as of 12/01/2016:
Zelen’s randomised controlled trial

Previous study design:
Pragmatic randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Schools

Trial type

Treatment

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet

Condition

Children identified as 'children in need' by local authority or children on a Child Protection Plan

Intervention

1. Intervention:
The offer of a place at a state or independent boarding school. Pupils randomly allocated to the boarding school arms of the trial will be supported by Buttle UK and social services to attend these institutions from year 7 until year 13. The support for the boarding school arms will cover all immediate costs related to attending the schools.

2. Control:
No offer of a place at a boarding school. Pupils randomised to the control arm will follow their expected educational path, which is most likely to be to apply to their local state secondary school as assigned through the routine state school application process; although parents/guardians may identify other educational routes for their child e.g. home school, other bursary for attending independent school.

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

The difference in post-test maths scores between pupils in the boarding groups and pupils in the control group. This will be collected in July 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Secondary outcome measures

1. Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire.
2. Health-related quality of life, measured by the EQ-5D-Y questionnaire (added 12/01/2016)

This will be collected in July 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Overall trial start date

01/02/2014

Overall trial end date

31/03/2024

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

Current participant inclusion criteria as of 12/01/2016:
1. Boys and girls who are in, or about to go into, year 6/7
2. Identified as “children in need” by their local authority or on a Child Protection Plan
3. Prepared to be followed-up by the evaluation team

Previous inclusion criteria:
1. Boys and girls who are in, or about to go into, year 6/7
2. Identified as “children in need” by their local authority
3. Prepared to be randomised and allow follow-up by the evaluation team

Participant type

Other

Age group

Child

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

Intervention: 150. Control: 150. (Overall target 300)

Participant exclusion criteria

Current exclusion criteria as of 12/01/2016:
1. Boys and girls who are not in, or about to go into, year 6/7
2. Not identified as “children in need” by their local authority or not on a Child Protection Plan
3. Not prepared to be followed-up by the evaluation team

Previous exclusion criteria:
1. Boys and girls who are not in, or about to go into, year 6/7
2. Not identified as “children in need” by their local authority
3. Not prepared to be randomised and followed-up by the evaluation team

Recruitment start date

01/02/2015

Recruitment end date

31/03/2017

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

York Trials Unit
University of York
York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

School of Education, Durham University
Leazes Road
Durham
DH1 1TA
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

University of York

Sponsor details

Research Innovation Office
Innovation Centre
York Science Park
York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

Funders

Funder type

Charity

Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

25/01/2016: Added ethics reference number Please note that as of 12/01/2016 this trial record was extensively amended. Most of the changes to this record can be found in the relevant field, under the date on which the amendment was made. The following changes have also taken place: 1. The scientific title has been changed from "Independent evaluation of the Buttle UK ‘Children in Need’ school places project: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial" to "Independent evaluation of the Buttle UK ‘Children in Need’ school places project: a Zelen’s randomised controlled trial" 2. Dates have been added to the ethics approvals 3. The target number of participants has changed from "Intervention: 37 (State Boarding), 113 (Independent Boarding). Control: 300. (Overall target: 450)" to "Intervention:150. Control: 150. (Overall target: 300)" 4. The number of participants has changed from 450 to 300