Investigating the effectiveness on educational attainment and behaviour of Commando Joe’s: a school-based, military-ethos intervention

Helen E. Mills, Melitta McNarry, Gareth Stratton, Stephen D. Mellalieu, Kelly A. Mackintosh


Objectives: A military-ethos intervention can enhance engagement in learning and educational attainment. However, such programmes have typically been delivered in a residential setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a twelve-month, military-ethos physical activity intervention on educational attainment, attendance and behaviour. Methods: Seven primary (five intervention) and five secondary schools (four intervention) were recruited and 228 primary school (152 intervention; 9.8±0.4 yrs) and 167 secondary school pupils (97 intervention; 13.8±0.4 yrs) participated.  Attainment, attendance and behaviour ratings were collected at baseline, 3-, 6- and 12-months and analysed using multilevel modelling. Results: Significant intervention effects were found at 3 months for Maths, 3 and 6 months in English, 6 months for attendance and across time for both positive social and problem behaviours. Effects were independent of sex and school level. Conclusions: Findings support the utility of the Commando Joe’s intervention as a whole-school strategy to enhance educational and behavioural outcomes.


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