Evidence reviews

The EEF commissions literature reviews to investigate specific areas of interest in greater depth. They give us a solid basis on which to begin our work of identifying, testing, and then scaling those approaches and programmes with the best chance of making a real and enduring difference.

All our reviews aim to find out, on the basis of robust causal evidence using experimental and quasi-experimental designs:

  • which interventions and approaches have demonstrated evidence of impact on young people’s outcomes;
  • what these outcomes are;
  • the quality of this evidence – how good and consistent it is, and where is further research needed;
  • and what does it suggest are the key features of effective practice.

While the reviews will explore the impact on attainment and related measures for all students, they will always highlight any evidence that is particularly relevant for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To date, we’ve published literature reviews focusing on the impact of digital technology on learning (2012), non-cognitive skills (2013), reading at the primary/secondary transition (2014), education and neuroscience (2014), two linked studies on pupils with English as an Additional Language (2015), arts education (2015), written marking (2016), improving English and maths outcomes for 16 to 18 year olds (2016), careers education (2016), science and the attainment gap (2017), early language development (2017), and employer engagement in education (2018).

Many of these reviews have led to themed funding rounds, more details of which can be found in the Apply section of the website.

Opportunities to work with the EEF on literature reviews will be published on our Research Tenders page.