Background: The ‘Supporting Teachers And childRen in Schools’ (STARS) study is a cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) programme as a public health intervention. TCM is a 6 day training course delivered to groups of 8–12 teachers. The STARS trial will investigate whether TCM can improve children’s behaviour, attainment and wellbeing, reduce teachers’ stress and improve their self-efficacy. This protocol describes the methodology of the process evaluation embedded within the main trial, which aims to examine the uptake and implementation of TCM strategies within the classroom plus the wider school environment and improve the understanding of outcomes.
Methods/design: The STARS trial will work with eighty teachers of children aged 4–9 years from eighty schools. Teachers will be randomised to attend the TCM course (intervention arm) or to “teach as normal” (control arm) and attend the course a year later. The process evaluation will use quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess fidelity to model, as well as explore headteachers’ and teachers’ experiences of TCM and investigate school factors that influence the translation of skills learnt to practice. Four of the eight groups of teachers (n = 40) will be invited to participate in focus groups within one month of completing the TCM course, and again a year later, while 45 of the 80 headteachers will be invited to take part in telephone interviews. Standardised checklists will be completed by group leaders and each training session will be videotaped to assess fidelity to model. Teachers will also complete standardised session evaluations.