research & impact

Our Research Approach

We understand that all organisations that support young people who face multiple disadvantages are different. That’s why we work closely with our partners to develop bespoke interventions that work alongside the available resources, needs and capacity of the institution or organisation. 

Our team of research psychologists are highly skilled in all elements of the research process, including producing initial research proposals, questionnaire development, conducting interviews, analysing qualitative and quantitative data, and producing accessible reports to disseminate our research findings.

All of our research strictly observes the ethical principles and guidelines dictated by the BPS Code of Human Research Ethics.

Research Impact

Evaluating the impact of our evidence-based interventions is fundamental in being able to reach even more young people in need of executive function support. We have found that our interventions have been successful in supporting young people in developing their metacognitive and self-regulation skills, in addition to improving their educational and personal outcomes.

We have also found improved relationships between practitioners, professionals, and the young people that they work with as the result of a shared understanding of the 11 executive function skills and language. Our partners have also reported increased confidence in their overall practice, particularly in their ability to address challenging behavioural situations by understanding the cognitive challenges underpinning behaviours. 

Impact Reporting

Our annual reports and research reports can be found below. The annual reports provide further information about our strategy and the activities of MindSpark, along with key highlights and achievements from each academic year. The research reports outline and evaluate our direct research intervention projects.

MindSpark Annual Report 2022/23

Our annual report shares our reflections, achievements, projects and activities from 2022/23. 

Read the full report here.

October, 2023

Enhancing executive function skills and metacognition by evaluating a whole class intervention in 9-11 year olds 

We evaluated the efficacy of a whole-class intervention in improving Year 5 and 6 pupils’ executive function skills and metacognition using explicit strategy instruction and a randomised control trial design. 

Read the full report here.

September, 2023

Our 2022 impact report 

With over 3 years of delivering our executive function training behind us, this report evaluates the long-term impact that the trainings have had on the thousands of young people that we have reached through our executive function trained professionals.

Read the full report here.

December, 2022

CiMF (MindSpark) Annual Report 2021/22

Our annual report shares our reflections, achievements, projects and activities from 2021/22. 

Read the full report here.

October, 2022

Does executive function coaching in youth centres work? A youth practitioner perspective

Building on our existing research, we explored the suitability of executive function coaching across the 1:1 and small group programmes offered by the youth centre, in addition to their large-group and drop-in sessions from the youth practitioner perspective.

Read the full report here.

June, 2022

The impact of executive function coach training on youth centre culture and practices

Working closely with one of our youth centre partners, we investigated the suitability and impact of our executive function coach training on youth centre culture, internal practices and young person outcomes using semi-structured interviews. To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first to demonstrate the benefits of applying executive function knowledge and coaching practices to approaches and practices in UK youth centres.

Read the full report here.

 May, 2022

Using executive function coaching as a 1:1 intervention in a state-secondary school

Executive function coaching is used across schools in the US, yet there is no research assessing its suitability in state-secondary schools in the UK. Here, we trained a key member of staff to deliver Meta-Skills, a 1:1 coaching programme developed by MindSpark that builds metacognition and self regulation. We used a case-study approach to explore its impact on behavioural and academic outcomes in two students with complex needs in early secondary school years.

Read the full report here.

October, 2021