Review of EEF projects to date


To date the EEF has funded over 110 projects focussed on raising the attainment of children in state primary and secondary schools. More than 90 of the projects we have funded are being evaluated using a randomised control trial methodology. Forty projects have reported so far and the EEF has made further grants to ten programme deliverers.

This body of work represents a rich resource. The EEF has already used the findings of its work to inform updates to the Teaching and Learning Toolkit; to make further investments in promising programmes; and to produce accessible guidance for schools, for example around Teaching Assistants.

We are now looking to commission an external review of our reported projects in order to identify over-arching themes, patterns and other lessons beyond the headline impact on pupil outcomes. The intention is to look ‘beneath the surface’ of single projects to identify cross cutting issues which will be useful in our future grant-making work and informing our approach to scale-up.

This is potentially an important and substantial piece of work for the EEF; we have decided to take a two stage approach to commissioning it. This tender covers an initial review of our reported projects, which may then lead to a further in-depth analysis of some of the most salient themes. This would be commissioned separately. 

The review

The review should focus on the nature and content of the funded projects and their delivery models, rather than issues connected to the EEF’s internal processes (although reviewers may wish to note these).

There are a number of different ways to organise the review and to cut the work of the EEF to date; we are open to different approaches for analysing patterns around who and what has been successful and how. Within the parameters of this being an initial review, we are interested in examining the following questions:

  • What are the key characteristics of EEF programmes that have been successful in raising pupil attainment and those that are unsuccessful?
  • Are there common characteristics of programmes that have been easy or difficult to implement?
  • Did the intensity of the programme have a bearing on its implementation and success?
  • Are particular models of CPD/training associated with more successful programmes?
  • Were domain-general or curriculum-specific programmes more likely to be successful?
  • What key differences (if any) were there between programmes delivered by charities, schools and universities?
  • Were there any notable differences between targeted, whole class and whole school programmes?
  • Were there any notable differences between projects in the early years, primary and secondary phases?

The review’s conclusions should reflect the fact that EEF reports are a subset of a wider literature on education interventions. It should be clear where conclusions are intended to support EEF grant-making and scale-up, and where the EEF project evidence is thought to support more generalizable conclusions.

As an output, we are looking for:

  • An internal-facing report or presentation which presents clearly and accessibly the findings of the review
  • Access to the database or similar that the reviewer has used to analyse and categorise the reported projects
  • An outline of which themes warrant further in-depth analysis in a potential second stage project, and how this might be done.

The budget for this initial review is around £20,000 and we would like it to report by the summer break.

How to apply

We welcome proposal from individuals, universities and other research organisations. Your bid should outline in no more than 1,000 words:

  • Your proposed approach to conducting the review – how do you propose to analyse the projects and against what criteria?
  • How will you balance depth and breadth in this initial review, so that you adequately cover the ground in terms of the reported projects and lessons learnt
  • Your credentials for undertaking the review in terms of an understanding of the school system, the EEF’s remit, the challenges around introducing new programmes and approaches in the classroom, as well as a knowledge of the evidence base of what works in raising attainment, particularly for disadvantaged children.

The deadline for submitting the initial proposal is 9 May. The EEF team will contact a shortlist of organisations with the most promising proposals, with a view to selecting a reviewer the w/b 23 May. We would like the project to report by the end of the summer.

Please send completed bids and direct any questions to: