About

The 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 fund rigorous evaluations of innovative projects aiming to raise pupils' attainment. We do this to find out what's most likely to work effectively and cost-effectively, and to put that into action across the country. 

Founded by the education charity the Sutton Trust, as lead charity in partnership with Impetus Trust, the EEF received a founding grant of £125m from the Department for Education. With investment and fundraising income, the EEF intends to award as much as £200m over the 15-year life of the Foundation.

The problem we want to tackle - the attainment gap

  • Over 1.4 million (21%) children aged 4-15 are eligible for free school meals in this country. They will start primary school behind their better-off classmates - and this attainment gap will increase throughout their schooling.
  • The latest figures show just 37% of disadvantaged children achieved 5 good GCSEs, including English and Maths, compared to 63% of all other pupils. Children from poorer backgrounds do worse on average than their wealthier classmates whichever type of school they are in.
  • The attainment gap between rich and poor pupils is particularly stark compared with other OECD countries.
  • Young people with poor educational attainment are much more likely to end up not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Our approach to tackling it

  • We think that better use of evidence can make a real difference by helping schools spend money more effectively to improve the teaching and learning of children from low-income families.
  • That's why the EEF invests in evidence-based projects which focus on tackling the attainment gap.
  • We then test these ideas rigorously. Everything we do is independently evaluated by top research institutions. The vast majority of the projects we fund are run as randomised controlled trials, while the rest use quasi-scientific designs or are developmental pilot projects.
  • We are publicly reporting all the results of these independent evaluations and including them in our Teaching and Learning Toolkit so that schools have the best possible evidence on which to base their own professional judgements - and we will then scale up those interventions shown to be most effective.