Confident about confidence

Envision is calling on policy makers, funders and practitioners to ‘stand up for confidence’.

Whilst many would agree that confidence, or self-efficacy, is crucial for success, youth workers and schools prefer to focus on skills because they are easier to assess.

Many youth organisations complain that they have to teach what can be measured, rather than trying to measure what really needs to be taught. 

Over the past year we have engaged the support of the most respected behavioural science experts to help us to find an appropriate confidence metric.

The Education Endowment Foundation selected the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to work on the challenge in a national tender process to find an evaluator for our Year 10 programme. 

After identifying and assessing a vast range of validated assessment scales, BIT recommended scales to assess both self-efficacy and social confidence which are practical for schools (just 8 and 12 questions respectively) yet meet the exacting standards for validity demanded by the Education Endowment Foundation.

Envision has had a lot of interest in the scales from policy-makers and funders. After meeting with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport we are delighted to see that the new Civil Society Strategy says:

“This inner confidence, called ‘self-efficacy’, is the hidden resource of our society. There isalso evidence that high levels of self-efficacy are linked to ‘better health, higher achievement, and better social integration’. . . DCMS will explore, where appropriate, ways of putting ‘self-efficacy’ at the heart of programme evaluation”.  

Envision was the only charity mentioned in the report, for the work we are already doing in this area. Now we want to help the Department for Education to empower teachers and youth workers to build young people’s confidence.