What difference does it make?

Evaluation and impact

Evaluation is essential to ensure our planning, resources and delivery are as effective as they can be, and for us, schools and stakeholders to measure the impact. We as students to complete a questionnaire at the start of each programme and an evaluation at the end. These are designed to measure changes to behaviour and to perceptions of risk and the possible consequences of taking drugs and drinking alcohol. We also ask students at longer workshops to complete evaluations that gather immediate feedback and data on impact.

Student workshop feedback 2017-18
It provided me with relevant information99%
It tackled misconceptions about substance misuse92%
It changed how I see the risks and consequences of using drugs81%
It helped me think about ways to tackle peer pressure76%
The resources I’ve been given will be useful91%
I feel more able to talk to my parents, carers or teachers about drugs63%

'Drugs education in schools: The Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Programme'

Dr Fizz Anand, Dr Karen Duke, Dr Rachel Herring, Nikoleta Syreti, Prof Betsy Thorn, Kalliopi Tzimopoulou, University of Middlesex Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (2019)

In June 2017, the DSM Foundation became an Associate of the University of Middlesex Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (DARC). From September 2017, their academic team, with two postgraduate students, undertook a formative assessment of our drug and alcohol education programme. 

The research focused on three areas of our work: teachers’ experience of delivering our drug education lessons, the effectiveness of parents’ workshops, and the impact of the Theatre in Education production of Mark Wheeller’s play and the workshop that follows performances.

The report concludes: “The DSM programme has been developed with regard to principles of good practice emerging from research and through self-assessment following the Mentor-Adepis guidelines. This formative assessment brings an outsider eye to bear on the programme for the first time…There were no recommendations for major changes. Rather ideas were offered for ways in which the programme could be strengthened and ways to extend its reach and ensure its appropriateness to different groups of young people.”

You can read the full report on the DARC website.

A more rigorous, longer term academic evaluation is planned and currently under discussion.


“Thank you so much for the resources, the assembly and the staff training you came in for. The lessons were really successful, with engaged and more knowledgeable students ready to make safer choices!”

Navdeep Chima, Head of PSHE, Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College, Croydon

“Thank you for making the journey down to Ryde last week and for talking to our community in such an honest and compelling way. I am not sure you can fully appreciate the impact you have had, but parents were immediately aware that something had changed in their children’s attitudes to drugs after Tuesday.”

Mark Waldron, Headteacher, Ryde School with Upper Chine, Isle of Wight

The Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation has helped to transform lives, and has stopped kids from our school from dying. How many charities can say that! How many mothers and fathers are eternally grateful? Probably every single one that hears their message.

I have been working at Wallington County Grammar School (WCGS) for 13 years and overseeing pastoral support for students, and have worked with a lot of charities and organisations, but this is the only one that left me crying in front of 350 students as it touched my heart so much. It touched me to hear a mother talk about the death of her son. It touched me to hear of a family who despite what they have and are going through, still use every minute of their day to want to help others, to not go through what they have gone through.

At WCGS they have delivered well-resourced, powerful messages to over 1000 students in our school, relying on donations, and often spending money from their own pocket. We have had the charity in to deliver workshops to students from Year 7- Year 13, as well as supporting the PSHEE programme, and they have provided resources for teachers to deliver drug and alcohol lessons and form time sessions. Their play was performed to our Year 13 students last year. These are a few examples of how they have supported our students. As for staff and parents, we have had workshops and sessions to support us to answer student questions, and parents to support their children.

After their workshops we have had a lot of students speak to us about what they witness at parties, and what they themselves have tried. We have even had students come forward and ask for drug counselling. Following the charity coming in we have now introduced more workshops from drug organisations to educate our students more on the dangers of drugs. This charity has helped some of our students get support for their addiction, own up that they have a problem and get help before it is too late; this charity has saved some of our students from trying harder drugs.

I urge you to look at their Facebook page. There you will see the huge amount of schools and groups that this charity has worked with and now work with – funding is essential to support them deliver a message that every parent wants their son or daughter to hear. What better way to hear it from someone who has been through the trauma of the dangers of drugs. This personal message is what students need to hear, from real life experiences.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information.

Duvessa Owen, Deputy Headteacher, Wallington County