Assessing the Efficacy of the Franklin Scholars Peer Mentoring Programme


We want to help every pupil to succeed in school.

Since 2013, Franklin Scholars has worked with over 50 schools across England to provide in-school literacy and numeracy peer mentoring programmes. The Franklin Scholars programme helps pair older peer mentors with younger students that need extra support to make a strong start in secondary school through peer tutoring and coaching.

Here at Franklin Scholars, we are always looking to improve our understanding of how our programme is helping young people. To help us better understand how our programme benefits young people, we will be running a study in select partner schools during the 19/20 academic year. This study, which is funded in part by Nesta, will allow us to better understand the impact of our programme on students’ academic performance as well as social and emotional skills and habits development. We have received some advising on the study from the University of Sussex, through Nesta. In addition, researchers at the University of Utah will assist in data analysis stemming from the study.

What will the study look like?

Who will participate in the study?

Ten schools (see below) have agreed to be included in the study. Within those schools, we will ask for permission to include all Year 7 and Year 10 students in our study. Students do not have to participate in the programme, if they don’t want to. Each student will be sent home with a parental consent form and students (as well as entire schools) can opt out of the study at any time.


What is the timeline of the study?

The study will be conducted using three assessments, totalling one hour and 40 minutes of time over the course of the school year. Assessments will be given at the beginning of the school day and are intended to provide ‘snapshot’ assessments of a student’s academic level in either maths or literacy as well as some key social and emotional skills and habits. Feel free to email if you would like to see a copy of the tests we will giving students.

What are the costs and benefits of the study?

There are no financial costs to participating in the study. The study does, however, require a time commitment from schools and students, of about 1 hour and 40 minutes over the school year. In addition, the assessments are collecting information about students’ academic skills and social/emotional skills that could be considered sensitive. To mitigate these costs, we have strict data protection policies in place and will never share information about any single student to anyone who is not part of the research team. Any reports published from this study will only use data that has been aggregated.

The benefits of the study include:

  • A deeper understanding of how peer mentoring can work as a cost-effective tool for schools to better support students in the transition into secondary school.

  • Important feedback to our partner schools about whether our programme is working well for them (and if not, how can we improve the programme).

  • Helping young people see what it’s like to be part of a research project; we will offer optional opportunities (research presentations or parent’s evenings) where we can talk about this research with the students and parents at each of our partner schools.

Upon completion of the study in August 2020, we will provide a report on the study to all students and parents who participated. We will provide school-level reports to each participating school as well.

Consent and Data Protection

The following ethical research guidelines and consent procedures are being followed:

  • Ethical Review – The NHS Research Ethics Committee has confirmed that, for this type of research in the UK, schools can individually decide whether they would like to take part. In addition, the University of Utah Ethical Review Board has approved Dr. Melissa Schaefer to assist in analysing the data from the study. Should you have any questions regarding the analysis of data from this project, Dr. Schaefer can be reached at and contact information for the University of Utah Ethical Review Board can be found here.

  • Consent from schools – We have secured research agreements with each participating school (listed below), giving us consent to go forward with the study as described here.

  • Consent from parents – We will ask for parental consent for each student participant. Students for whom we do not secure consent will still be asked to take the assessments (so that they are not identifiable by their peers as students whose parents withheld consent), but their test materials will be destroyed immediately after collection by Franklin Scholars.

  • Consent from students – Students will have the option to discreetly opt in or opt out of the study by simply choosing not to complete the test and/or choosing not to write their name on their test papers.

We have a data protection policy in place, aligned with GDPR and designed to protect your students’ data. In addition, under this project, a series of data protection policies will be put in place to protect both electronic and paper-based data. All hard copies of the data will be kept in a locked cabinet on Franklin Scholars property for a minimum of five years. Anonymised data will be shared with research collaborators who will undertake an independent assessment of our programme. Aside from these research collaborators, data will never be published or released to any third parties in a dis-aggregated manner.


Do you have questions about this study? Please send an email to and we will respond
to your inquiry within 3 days.