This report reviews three pieces of research into social and emotional learning (SEL), looking into how early intervention to develop social and emotional skills, can have benefits for later life.
SEL covers self-perceptions and self-awareness; motivation; self-control; social and communication skills; and resilience and coping. Research into impact in adult life showed that of these skills self-control can often be most important, as well as with the other areas, it is associated with good physical and mental health, as well as better employment and financial outcomes. Compared with cognitive skills, social and emotional skills matter more for mental wellbeing, and similarly for health related, socio-economic, and labour market outcomes. Where social and emotional skills are developed at an early age, this accounts for 10% of the likelihood of getting a top job in later life, alongside the educational attainment benefits provided by SEL.
Well-evaluated interventions across the primary and secondary stages which cover the above SEL skills, were found to improve social and emotional competencies, and educational outcomes, with greater benefit found where this was targeted on those most at risk. The best schemes are well-structured, with clear aims, and structured activities, delivered over a long time period by a trained facilitator.
The report also covers challenges in policy for extending SEL provision. These include effective delivery, focusing on specific skills, variances in levels of current delivery, adopting a whole school approach, and ways of recognising pupils achievement.
“When vetting applicants for all roles within Evolve, exam grades are not high on our list of prerequisites. We are much more interested in the social and emotional capabilities of applicants and I wonder how many other organisations have a similar approach.
Through its team of Health Mentors, Evolve tries to complement the academic progress made by schools through developing children’s personal skills that are much more important in order to lead a happy and fulfilling life.”
– John Bishop, Evolve Managing Director
To read the full report, click here.