We’re evaluating Speak out Stay safe in two phases. The first phase was completed in September 2018 and gave us an initial understanding of:
- the perceived impact of Speak out Stay safe on children and schools
- the experiences of pupils, teachers, NSPCC staff and volunteers who take part in the programme
- how the Speak out Stay safe model is delivered and adapted
- what helps and hinders programme delivery.
We’ve commissioned the University of Central Lancashire, in collaboration with four other UK universities, to carry out a full independent UK evaluation of Speak out Stay safe for the second phase. This will be a robust impact, process and economic evaluation and the findings will be available in 2021.
What we’ve learnt
Our initial evaluation was small-scale, carried out in ten schools in England only. The findings can’t be generalised to all schools receiving the Speak out Stay safe programme across the UK, but they will help us improve the way the programme is delivered and contribute to the design and implementation of the phase 2 evaluation.
Findings from the initial evaluation include:
- Children told us they knew more about bullying, abuse and neglect following Speak out Stay safe.
- Speak out Stay safe helped identify safeguarding concerns amongst the children who participated in this evaluation.
- There is value in the NSPCC visiting schools to deliver the Speak out Stay safe messages to children .
- School staff can also learn from Speak out Stay safe.
- The content, pitch and delivery of the Speak out Stay safe assemblies and workshop were felt to be age-appropriate and engaging for children.
- The format of Speak out Stay safe helps standardise delivery, but some variations were observed.
- There are some things we can do to improve the programme.
(Hollis and Churchill, 2018).
Read the full evaluation report
How we’re evaluating this service
Our initial evaluation gained the views of children and school staff within ten schools in England. We carried out:
- focus groups with pupils on the same day as the Speak out Stay safe session
- interviews with school staff shortly after the Speak out Stay safe session
- interviews with NSPCC staff who co-ordinate and deliver Speak out Stay safe
- interviews with volunteers who deliver Speak out Stay safe.
We used framework analysis to analyse the transcriptions of focus groups and interviews (Ritchie and Lewis, 2003).
We also observed Speak out Stay safe sessions using a checklist. This helped us analyse:
- the duration and structure of sessions
- variations in service delivery
- engagement of children and teachers
- the responses given by children.
The recruitment and consent process and all data collection methods and materials for the phase one evaluation were given full ethical approval by the NSPCC’s independent Research Ethics Committee.
The second phase of the evaluation is an independent evaluation named ‘TESSE’ (The Evaluation of Speak out Stay safe). This evaluation will be led by the University of Central Lancashire in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, Bangor University, Queens University Belfast and the University of Greenwich. The evaluation will have three elements as outlined below:
An impact evaluation
This will explore how children’s knowledge, understanding and recognition of abuse, neglect and bullying changes after they have taken part in the Speak out Stay safe assemblies and workshops.
It will also investigate whether Speak out Stay safe improves children’s knowledge of who they can speak out to and whether the programme increases children's readiness to seek help if they or their friends experience abuse and neglect.
Approximately 4,000 children will be involved in the impact evaluation from across 90 UK primary schools. Data collection will start in January 2019.
A process evaluation
This will run alongside the impact evaluation to explore how Speak out Stay safe works and to understand what helps and hinders successful delivery.
Interviews and focus groups will be carried out with pupils and school staff to find out what they think of the programme.
An economic evaluation
This will assess the full range of wider costs and outcomes associated with Speak out Stay safe from a societal perspective. It will also explore how cost-efficient the programme is.
The evaluation is supported by The Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.