While it is important to understand the model behind The Thrive Approach, what really matters is the impact that it can have in practice for the development of an individual child or young person.

Here we provide you with a selection of case studies from settings that are using Thrive and the impact they have seen. In addition, there is further information from impact evaluations carried out by external organisations and ourselves.

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The Thrive Approach has been embedded in a range of settings across Queensland, Victoria, North Island New Zealand, England and Wales.

Pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools and specialist units have all successfully used Thrive to help children to become more emotionally resilient so that they are better equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs. Read how we have made a difference.

What difference does Thrive make?

The impact Thrive has on children and young people and the communities around them has been evidenced in a number of studies. These include:

  • Thrive helps to develop resilience in young people. (Hart and Heaver 2015).
  • Thrive closes the gap for vulnerable children across a range of measures including attainment, behaviour, relationships, self-confidence and attendance. (McGuire-Snieckus et al 2015). Supplementary evaluations were carried out in 2018 and 2019 that further support these findings.
  • Staff using the Thrive Approach feel more equipped to manage behaviour and better able to support more vulnerable children. (Office for Public Management 2013).

Schools that have adopted the Thrive Approach have reported many benefits. These include fewer disruptions in class, reduced exclusions and improved academic results. The knock-on effect of this can be better parent-school relationships and improved staff morale.

The impact of Thrive has been picked up by Ofsted and Estyn during school inspections. Inspectors have commented on the use of Thrive to help manage behaviour more effectively, in particular when used for early intervention, helping students to become more open to learning.

The Department for Education is focused on supporting schools to build whole school environments and develop approaches within which all students can achieve their full potential. A 2018 review of published policies and information - Mental health and wellbeing provision in schools - was commissioned in response to the Green Paper 'Transforming children and young people's mental health provision'. This review included Thrive as an initiative that supports and promotes positive mental health. (DfE 2018).

In addition to building a bank of case studies showing the impact of the Thrive Approach, Thrive is committed to a programme of ongoing research. One study by Thrive looked at the potential social return on investment (SROI). This research indicated that for every £1 spent, the short-term return was £9, rising to £16-22 over the longer term. (Courtney 2013).

Thrive users evaluation survey 2019

During 2019, Thrive commissioned an independent research company to survey schools using the Thrive Approach. The key findings from the survey were:

  • The majority of schools adopted Thrive to improve their whole school approach to children’s social and emotional development (77%).
  • The majority of senior leaders said that Thrive now forms part of the School Improvement Plan or equivalent (73%).
  • The majority of schools have a dedicated Thrive room (71%) or are planning to (12%), and have timetabled Thrive time (89%) or are planning to (5%).
  • Almost every respondent felt that their personal beliefs/opinion of Thrive was an enabler to adopting the Thrive Approach in their setting (87% major enabler and 11% minor enabler).
  • Almost every respondent believed the Thrive training they had received was an enabler to adopting the Thrive Approach in their setting (83% major enabler and 14% minor enabler).
  • The majority of respondents have changed their teaching practice as a result of adopting Thrive (77% have with a further 4% intending to).
  • The vast majority of settings have changed their whole school approach to behaviour management following the adoption of Thrive (29% major changes, 40% minor changes and 13% planning changes).
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