• Research Project Team

    Learning Project Team

    • Jessica Deighton
    • Miranda Wolpert
    • Polly Casey
    • Melissa Cortina
    • Tanya Lereya
    • Emily Stapley
    • Kate Dalzell
    • CORC Regional Officers


    •          Neil Humphrey (University of Manchester)
    •          Eva Bonin (London School of Economics)
    •          Kate Martin (Common Room)
    •          Mia Eisenstadt (Reos Partners)



  • Background

    HeadStart is a prevention programme aiming to improve the mental well-being of at-risk 10 to 16 year-olds.

    Six partnerships across England have been selected to deliver the HeadStart programme and will offer a range of approaches in schools and communities. These include peer mentoring, mental health ‘first aid’ training, staying safe online, tackling social media bullying and special resilience lessons. Over 7 years, the learning team led by the Centre will support the partnerships in collecting and analysing data and disseminating and implementing what they have learnt so that the approaches can be gradually improved.

  • Aims

    The Quantitative and Qualitative elements aim to identify: 

    • Is the mental well-being of young people, receiving HeadStart, improving?
    • Is the onset of diagnosable mental health conditions among young people, receiving HeadStart, reducing?
    • Is the academic engagement and attainment of young people, receiving HeadStart, improving? Is the employability of young people, having received HeadStart, improving?
    • Is the incidence of risky behaviour amongst young people, receiving HeadStart, reducing, for instance: engagement in criminal activity, engagement in substance abuse and teenage pregnancy?
    • To examine local implementation of HeadStart at each partnership
    • To explore mechanisms of impact of the interventions at each partnership

    The Capacity building aspect aims to:

    • Support the strengthening of the capacity and capability of individual partnerships to collect, collate and interpret relevant data and;
    • Implement improvements to the programme as a result 

    The economic learning strand aims to:

    • Facilitate the development of a common tool to assess HeadStart’s Value of Money and;
    • Support partnerships with its implementation

     The evaluation of programme elements aims to:

    • Execute a number of summative evaluations of individual programme elements to identify what works for whom.
  • Methodology

    The project will keep young people in the lead, whilst working collaboratively with the partnerships to generate and facilitate:

    •          Quantitative learning;
    •          Qualitative learning;
    •          Best practice and dissemination;
    •          Capacity building;
    •          Economic learning;
    •          Evaluation of programme elements.