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About the GBG UK trial

Mentor UK recently completed an exciting two-year trial of the Good Behaviour Game, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

Further data collection (via a short annual survey) will continue with the relevant cohort to Summer 2019

Since its initial development in the 1960s, the Good Behaviour Game has been trialled across the USA, Europe and Africa. This vast body of research has shown GBG to be effective in promoting a range of positive outcomes, including immediate improvements in pupil behaviour, especially for disruptive boys, and a reduction in risky behaviours in later years. The UK trial aimed to see whether or not this intervention would have a similar impact in England.

One of the risky behaviours impacted in previous trials of GBG is substance misuse. As an alcohol and drug prevention charity, Mentor is very interested to see if the preventive effects of GBG can delay and/or reduce alcohol and drug use among young people in the UK.

Learn more about Mentor’s work

Preventing substance misuse through pro-social learning

A school’s role in prevention is much broader than explicit alcohol and drug education lessons. Research tells us that a young person’s attachment to school is a powerful protective factor which makes them resilient against substance misuse.

Through promoting pro-social attitudes and encouraging positive learning behaviours, GBG increases pupils’ engagement in school. Playing GBG also has a significant impact on children’s educational attainment and increases their resilience to risks, including smoking, drinking and drug misuse.

More research evidence is available here

News coverage of the Good Behaviour Game



October 29th 2015: The Good Behaviour Game has
been mentioned in a Commons Committee discussion
of the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

Read the full transcript here.



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May 18th 2015: The Good Behaviour Game
has been advertised in Teach Primary magazine.

Pick up a copy or get a subscription.



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May 18th 2015: The Good Behaviour Game
has been featured in PTA UK magazine.




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May 4th 2015: The Good Behaviour Game
has been featured on UK Edchat.

Click to read more.


September 9th 2011: BBC coverage of the
Oxfordshire pilot of the Good Behaviour Game

Click to read more.

The team responsible for running the trial in England


Jamila Boughelaf – Head of Programmes, Mentor

jamilaJamila is Head of Programmes at Mentor. She joined Mentor in 2013, managing the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS) and in 2015 taking on the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions as well. Jamila also represented Mentor at the 2015 UNESCO, UNODC, WHO joint international expert meeting on substance use among children and young people. Since August 2015 Jamila has been a member of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) and the Alliance for Useful Evidence.

Jamila’s background is managing national and international projects, as well as major events aimed at fundraising, awareness raising or campaigning. Passionate about achieving positive social change in society, she has been involved in a wide range of youth engagement, active citizenship and human rights projects across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Jamila also spent time as a Research Assistant for Dr Maha Azzam at the Chatham House and Dr Sara Silvestri at City University. Jamila holds a BA in International Communication from the University of Milan, and a Masters in Social Sciences from City University London.


Neil Humphrey – Lead Evaluator

humphreyProf Neil Humphrey is Professor of Education and Research Coordinator for the Manchester Institute of Education at the University of Manchester. His main areas of research interest are in social and emotional learning, mental health and special educational needs. Neil has led several major national evaluation projects, including the primary SEAL small group work component, secondary SEAL programme, and Achievement for All initiative. He is currently leading two major randomised trials in primary schools – of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies Curriculum and the Good Behaviour Game. Neil’s research has been funded by bodies including the National Institute for Health Research, Education Endowment Foundation and Department for Education. He recently published ‘Social and emotional learning – a critical appraisal’ with Sage.



Dr Alexandra Barlow – Evaluator

alex pic 2Dr Alexandra Barlow is a Research Associate and Lecturer in Psychology of Education at the Manchester Institute of Education at the University of Manchester. Her main areas of research interest are in developmental psychology, and in particular the development of socio-cognitive skills, such as social and emotional skill, theory of mind, and executive functioning, and how they impact on education and academic achievement. Alex had worked at the senior Research Associate on a number of large scale national evaluation projects, including Achievement for All initiative, and currently the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies Curriculum and the Good Behaviour Game.

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