Interventions are a common way of attempting to boost a pupil’s achievement. But how can you track whether they are bringing about positive change? We spoke to 2 of our associate education experts, Anita Devi and Bill Dennison, about how schools can evaluate the impact and value for money of interventions.
Quantitative and qualitative evidence
Anita said that schools should have a clear idea of:
- What they want the outcome of an intervention to be
- How to monitor the delivery of the intervention
Bill reiterated Anita's advice, and recommended that schools gather both qualitative and quantitative evidence of the impact of interventions.
Qualitative evidence should include information about:
- What the intervention involved, including the resources used
- Statements from participants, including pupils and parents, about the effect it had
Quantitative evidence might be a comparison of the test scores of pupils before and after the intervention.
Anita recommended collecting the following qualitative and quantitative data as evidence of impact:
- Pupil data at the beginning of the intervention
- Pupil data at the end of the intervention
- Pupils’ attendance at the intervention
- Pupils’ attitudes towards the intervention
- Transferability of the intervention (are pupils using what they have learnt in the intervention in the classroom?)
She suggested that schools also consider:
- Whether the intervention is significantly different from what is already being delivered in the classroom
- Whether the intervention is good value for money
Treat evidence with caution
Bill warned against placing too much emphasis on either type of evidence, as it is often difficult to prove that a given intervention actually caused a certain outcome. For example, it is hard to prove that improved test scores weren’t down to another aspect of a pupil’s environment.
He explained that it is also important to remember that the results of an intervention may not be immediate, as some interventions will aim for long-term effects. A report on such an intervention should make this clear, and may rely more on qualitative evidence than “hard data”.
Think about next steps
Anita explained that at the end of interventions, schools should also be thinking about next steps and what has worked so far.
- Next steps should always be closely matched to the needs of pupils in the school
- Provision should be adapted to suit the needs of each cohort
Have your own strategies to share on effectively recording the impact of interventions? Contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org.