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The Good Schools Study

The Good Schools Study

Reducing violence in Ugandan primary schools.

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About the project

One of the first cluster-randomised controlled trials of an intervention to reduce violence from school staff to students. The study also included qualitative research, a process evaluation and economic evaluation.

Who we are

The study was a collaboration between LSHTM, Raising Voices, UCL-IoE and Makerere University.


More than 20 academic papers and other resources are listed here.

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About The Good Schools Study 2 columns
About The Good Schools Study

One of the most common forms of violence against children in East Africa is physical violence perpetrated by school staff, but no interventions to reduce this violence have been rigorously evaluated for effectiveness. The Good School Toolkit, developed by Ugandan NGO Raising Voices, aims to reduce this and other violence against children in schools. In 2012, Raising Voices approached LSHTM for assistance to evaluate the impact of the Good School Toolkit in Ugandan primary schools.

From 2012-2015, we conducted the Good Schools Study, which included:

  • a cluster randomised controlled trial in 42 Ugandan primary schools
  • a qualitative study
  • a process evaluation
  • an economic evaluation

We showed that the Toolkit reduced past week physical violence from school staff to students by 42%, and improved students’ feelings of well being and connection to schools. The Toolkit is freely available from Raising Voices.

Who we are
The Good Schools Study Who we are 2 columns
Who we are The Good Schools Study

Major Donors

MRC/DfiD/Wellcome Trust (Joint Global Health Trials Scheme, MR/L004321/1, to K Devries), Hewlett FoundationThe Oak FoundationThe Sigrid Rausuing Trust and American Jewish World Service (to D Naker)

Scientific Papers
Publications List
Methods to increase reporting of childhood sexual abuse in surveys: the sensitivity and specificity of face-to-face interviews versus a sealed envelope method in Ugandan primary school children
Devries, K; Kuper, H; Knight, L; Allen, E; Kyegombe, N; Banks, LM; Kelly, S; Naker, D
BMC Int Health Hum Rights, 17 (1). p. 4. ISSN 1472-698X DOI
Does the Good Schools Toolkit Reduce Physical, Sexual and Emotional Violence, and Injuries, in Girls and Boys equally? A Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial
Devries, KM; Knight, L; Allen, E; Parkes, J; Kyegombe, N; Naker, D
Prevention science. ISSN 1389-4986 DOI
Witnessing intimate partner violence and child maltreatment in Ugandan children: a cross-sectional survey
Devries, KM; Knight, L; Child, JC; Kyegombe, N; Hossain, M; Lees, S; Watts, C; Naker, D
BMJ Open, 7 (2). e013583. ISSN 2044-6055 DOI
Secondary distress in violence researchers: a randomised trial of the effectiveness of group debriefings
Grundlingh, H; Knight, L; Naker, D; Devries, K
BMC Psychiatry, 17 (1). p. 204. ISSN 1471-244X DOI
Effect of the good school toolkit on school staff mental health, sense of job satisfaction and perceptions of school climate: Secondary analysis of a cluster randomised trial
Kayiwa, J; Clarke, K; Knight, L; Allen, E; Walakira, E; Namy, S; Merrill, KG; Naker, D; Devries, K
Preventive medicine. ISSN 0091-7435 DOI
How did the Good School Toolkit reduce the risk of past week physical violence from teachers to students? Qualitative findings on pathways of change in schools in Luwero, Uganda
Kyegombe, N; Namakula, S; Mulindwa, J; Lwanyaaga, J; Naker, D; Namy, S; Nakuti, J; Parkes, J; Knight, L; Walakira, E
Social science & medicine (1982), 180. pp. 10-19. ISSN 0277-9536 DOI
School staff perpetration of physical violence against students in Uganda: a multilevel analysis of risk factors
Merrill, KG; Knight, L; Glynn, JR; Allen, E; Naker, D; Devries, KM
BMJ Open, 7 (8). e015567. ISSN 2044-6055 DOI
Gender, violence and resilience among Ugandan adolescents
Namy, S; Carlson, C; Norcini Pala, A; Faris, D; Knight, L; Allen, E; Devries, K; Naker, D
Child abuse & neglect, 70. pp. 303-314. ISSN 0145-2134 DOI
Violence against children perpetrated by peers: A cross-sectional school-based survey in Uganda
Wandera, SO; Clarke, K; Knight, L; Allen, E; Walakira, E; Namy, S; Naker, D; Devries, K
Child abuse & neglect, 68. pp. 65-73. ISSN 0145-2134 DOI
Patterns and predictors of violence against children in Uganda: a latent class analysis
Clarke, K; Patalay, P; Allen, E; Knight, L; Naker, D; Devries, K
BMJ Open, 6 (5). e010443. ISSN 2044-6055 DOI
"I never expected that it would happen, coming to ask me such questions":Ethical aspects of asking children about violence in resource poor settings.
Devries, KM; Child, JC; Elbourne, D; Naker, D; Heise, L
Trials, 16 (1). p. 516. ISSN 1745-6215 DOI
The Good School Toolkit for reducing physical violence from school staff to primary school students: a cluster-randomised controlled trial in Uganda
Devries, KM; Knight, L; Child, JC; Mirembe, A; Nakuti, J; Jones, R; Sturgess, J; Allen, E; Kyegombe, N; Parkes, J
Lancet Glob Health, 3 (7). e378-86. ISSN 2214-109X DOI
Are school-level factors associated with primary school students' experience of physical violence from school staff in Uganda?
Knight, L; Nakuti, J; Allen, E; Gannett, KR; Naker, D; Devries, KM
Int Health. ISSN 1876-3405 DOI
Responding to abuse: Children's experiences of child protection in a central district, Uganda
Child, JC; Naker, D; Horton, J; Walakira, EJ; Devries, KM
Child abuse & neglect, 38 (10). pp. 1647-58. ISSN 0145-2134 DOI
Violence against primary school children with disabilities in Uganda: a cross-sectional study
Devries, KM; Kyegombe, N; Zuurmond, M; Parkes, J; Child, JC; Walakira, EJ; Naker, D
BMC Public Health, 14 (1). p. 1017. ISSN 1471-2458 DOI
School Violence, Mental Health, and Educational Performance in Uganda
Devries, KM; Child, JC; Allen, E; Walakira, E; Parkes, J; Naker, D
Pediatrics. ISSN 0031-4005 DOI
The Good Schools Toolkit to prevent violence against children in Ugandan primary schools: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial
Devries, KM; Allen, E; Child, JC; Walakira, E; Parkes, J; Elbourne, D; Watts, C; Naker, D
Trials, 14 (1). p. 232. ISSN 1745-6215 DOI
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