Background: Systematic reviews suggest that multi-component interventions are effective in reducing bullying victimisation and perpetration. We are undertaking a phase III randomised trial of the INCLUSIVE multi-component intervention. This trial aims to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the INCLUSIVE intervention in reducing aggression and bullying victimisation in English secondary schools. This paper updates the original trial protocol published in 2014 (Trials 15:381, 2014) and presents the changes in the process evaluation protocol and the secondary outcome data collection.
Methods: The methods are summarised as follows.
Design: cluster randomised trial.
Participants: 40 state secondary schools. Outcomes assessed among the cohort of students at the end of year 7 (n = 6667) at baseline.
Intervention: INCLUSIVE is a multi-component school intervention including a social and emotional learning curriculum, changes to school environment (an action group comprising staff and students reviews local data on needs to review rules and policies and determine other local actions) and staff training in restorative practice. The intervention will be delivered by schools supported in the first two years by educational facilitators independent of the research team, with a third intervention year involving no external facilitation but all other elements. Comparator: normal practice.
Outcomes: Primary: Two primary outcomes at student level assessed at baseline and at 36 months: 1. Aggressive behaviours in school: Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime school misbehaviour subscale (ESYTC) 2. Bullying and victimisation: Gatehouse Bullying Scale (GBS) Secondary outcomes assessed at baseline, 24 and 36 months will include measures relating to the economic evaluation, psychosocial outcomes in students and staff and school-level truancy and exclusion rates.
Sample size: 20 schools per arm will provide 90% power to identify an effect size of 0.25 SD with a 5% significance level. Randomisation: eligible consenting schools were randomised stratified for single-sex versus mixed-sex schools, school-level deprivation and measures of school attainment.
Discussion: The trial involves independent research and intervention teams and is supervised by a Trial Steering Committee and a Data Monitoring Committee.
Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials, ISRCTN10751359 . Registered on 11 March 2014.
Keywords: Adolescent; Bullying; Cluster randomised trial; School intervention; Violence prevention.