The impact of DISCOVER

The DISCOVER programme has been delivered in over 35 schools in South London and South of England to date, including the sixth forms within the Harris Federation schools. Evaluation and student feedback are embedded in the approach.

A Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT), by Kings College London, and funded by Research for Patient Benefit; National Institute of Health Service Research (NIHR) has been conducted in ten schools in South London. Ten schools were involved in this research during 2014-5. Five schools’ student outcomes following the DISCOVER programme were compared with students in five comparison schools, whose students were awaiting the programme. The results provided good evidence that after attending DISCOVER, students anxiety and depression reduced  and emotional resilience improved. Further details of our RCT and ongoing impact evaluations are available on request from the DISCOVER programme lead, Dr Irene Sclare on

Students and teachers have also identified that DISCOVER has had an impact on specific school and home behaviour and attitudes, including:

  • Increased ability to focus on and prioritise school work

  • Improved time management and problem solving

  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Improved capacity to deal with anxiety provoking situations

  • Improved interactions with peers and family

  • Better sleep and more daytime energy

What students have said What teachers have said

Testimonial from the Head of Sixth Form, Harris Academy Merton

‘We were made aware of the Discover Programme at a Federation meeting and after hearing a short speech on its contents, and reading the literature we signed up to it.  Following an assembly where it was delivered to our sixth formers, many students were encouraged to sign up.  Following this the working impact on staff at school was minimal, however, the impact on the students who signed up was significant.  All of our Y13s who were part of the programme achieved grades to take them to their chosen university or apprenticeship, all have a destination.  Also, our overall student attendance for the whole year improved!!  This cannot be totally attributed to the programme but it certainly had an effect.  We are already booked in for this year and look forward to the DISCOVER staff working with our students again!’


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