The Impact of DISCOVER

Programme evaluation and student feedback are embedded in the DISCOVER approach. We use sets of standardised mental health questionnaires to explore students’ mental health and wellbeing outcomes before and after the workshop day, and students’ goal attainment is carefully monitored. To share consideration of the programme impact on participating students, all schools receive a detailed DISCOVER report, which can be used for OFSTED or other inspections.

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

  • Increased ability to focus on and prioritise schoolwork
  • 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

Please contact Dr Irene Sclare, DISCOVER programme lead, on or Dr Rhian Parham for details of our evaluation framework and our annual reports of DISCOVER programme outcomes.

Our research

To further explore the evidence base for DISCOVER interventions, a feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) was undertaken by Kings College London, funded by the National Institute of Health Service Research (NIHR). This trial was conducted in ten schools with 92 students in South London in 2014-2015 (Brown et al., 2019).. Student mental health outcomes in five schools following delivery of the DISCOVER programme were compared with students in five comparison schools, whose students were awaiting the programme.

The DISCOVER team then collaborated with Dr June Brown, Reader/Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at IOPPN, King’s College London to undertake a NIHR-funded trial of DISCOVER called BESST (Brief Educational workshops in Secondary Schools Trial). This cluster Randomised Controlled Trial aims to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of DISCOVER. The BESST trial enrolled 900 sixth form students in 57 schools across four English regions during 2021-2023. Further details are available using the link below. Results of the trial will be available in Spring/summer 2024. For more information, contact

The DISCOVER team routinely undertake a range of service evaluations to ensure that the DISCOVER interventions bring about positive changes, and that young people and involved teachers regard our support as accessible and relevant. Young people play an active role in all our service developments. We co-designed and piloted the DISCOVER Getting the Life You Want programme with groups of care experienced young people and carers. We created new testimonial film material in a recent project with sixth form students, in order to improve student engagement with the DISCOVER Emotional Wellbeing assembly content. We have undertaken an evaluation of students’ views of the pros and cons of online delivery of DISCOVER on Microsoft Teams. In 2021 we reviewed and reported on young people’s views of the impact of the Coronavirus Lockdown on their mental health, sleep, social support and routines.

Global Banner