Achievement for All: Improving psychosocial outcomes for students with special educational needs and disabilities

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Students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are at a greatly increased risk of experiencing poor psychosocial outcomes. Developing effective interventions that address the cause of these outcomes has therefore become a major policy priority in recent years. We report on a national evaluation of the Achievement for All (AfA) programme that was designed to improve outcomes for students with SEND through: (1) academic assessment, tracking and intervention, (2) structured conversations with parents, and (3) developing provision to improve wider outcomes (e.g. positive relationships). Using a quasi-experimental, pre-test-post-test control group design, we assessed the impact of AfA on teacher ratings of the behaviour problems, positive relationships and bullying of students with SEND over an 18-month period. Participants were 4758 students with SEND drawn from 323 schools across England. Our main impact analysis demonstrated that AfA had a significant impact on all three response variables when compared to usual practice. Hierarchical linear modelling of data from the intervention group highlighted a range of school-level contextual factors and implementation activities and student-level individual differences that moderated the impact of AfA on our study outcomes. The implications of our findings are discussed, and study strengths and limitations are noted. © 2013 .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1225
Number of pages15
JournalResearch in developmental disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Behaviour
  • Bullying
  • Evaluation
  • Intervention
  • Relationships
  • Special educational needs


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