What does the EEF do?

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is an independent grant-making charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement, ensuring that children and young people from all backgrounds can fulfil their potential and make the most of their talents.

We aim to raise the attainment of 3-18 year-olds facing disadvantage by generating evidence of what works most effectively and cost-effectively, funding rigorous trials of promising but untested programmes and approaches. We then support schools, nurseries and colleges across the country to put that evidence to good use.

We do this in four ways:

1. Supporting teachers to use high-quality research and data to inform their practice and boost student attainment - our Families of Schools database, the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit and its Early Years companion, our evidence reports on key themes, and our DIY Evaluation Guide are all designed to help teachers identify attainment gaps and potential ways to tackle them;

2. Making grants to test the impact of innovative projects and generate new evidence of ‘what works’ - our grant-funding aims to support innovative projects with promising evidence that they are having a measurable impact on the attainment (or a directly related outcome) of children and young people;

3. Publishing independent, rigorous evaluations to build our understanding of how to improve teaching and learning - we publish, openly and in full, the reports of independent evaluators into all the projects we fund so that teachers can have confidence in the findings we present;

4. Scaling up promising approaches and programmes to achieve maximum reach across the country - as confidence increases in a project's positive impact through the trials we fund, so we work to scale up its delivery to reach as many disadvantaged children and young people as possible.

The School Improvement Cycle


Attainment Gap analysis


Identify possible solutions


Applying evidence in practice


Identifying improvements


Secure and spread change


The Families of Schools database is an interactive tool that allows schools to compare the performance of their pupils to other schools with similar characteristics. The Families facilitates collaboration between schools facing similar challenges to help them learn from one another.

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The Sutton Trust- EEF Toolkit is an accessible summary of educational research. It contains 34 teaching approaches and interventions, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them and their cost. The Early Years Toolkit summarises the evidence for early years settings. Both Toolkits are designed to inform discussions on the most effective approaches to improving pupil attainment.

View the Teaching & Learning Toolkit keyboard_arrow_right


Applying evidence in your own context is challenging. We provide some guidance on the application of evidence, including making decisions on interventions and preparing staff and school for change.

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The DIY evaluation guide provides a step-by-step guide to school evaluation. How to conduct a small scale randomised controlled trial and establish a matched comparison group is covered in detail. Understanding and interpreting effect sizes helps schools make sense of the impact of their intervention.

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When schools implement changes that are successful, there needs to be a continuing effort to secure and spread change. Schools can apply for EEF funding to scale up and test promising approaches elsewhere.  

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Funded Projects

Latest project updates