£125 million to boost the attainment of poor children

The Government has awarded £125 million to the Sutton Trust as the lead charity in partnership with Impetus Trust to establish a new major programme to boost the attainment of some of the country's most disadvantaged children.

April 2011

The Education Endowment Fund (EEF) will be used to both initiate grants and seek innovative and bold proposals from schools, teachers, local authorities and charities to improve the performance of poor pupils in the country's lowest performing schools.

The Fund, which will be housed in a new charity established by the Sutton Trust and, in partnership with Impetus, will aim to identify and support cost effective, sustainable, and carefully evaluated projects to narrow attainment gaps in the classroom - creating a lasting educational legacy for 100,000s of disadvantaged children. The EEF will be created by a one-off, arms-length grant from the Department for Education.

Selection criteria for bids will be unveiled in the early summer when the new charity is officially launched - and the first round of grants will be made in the Autumn. It is envisaged that as much as £200 million will be allocated in total over the 15 year lifetime of the programme - with the extra money coming from fund-raising and investment returns.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, and chairman of the new charity, said: "The Fund is an unprecedented opportunity to create a lasting legacy to improve the life chances of the country's most disadvantaged children and improve social mobility. In many ways this represents the culmination of the Sutton Trust's work, and I am convinced that we will uncover highly cost effective and innovative projects which will influence the way billions of public money is spent on supporting disadvantaged children."

Daniela Barone Soares, Chief executive of Impetus Trust, said: "We are thrilled to be one of the drivers behind an investment of this scale with such potential to make a real difference for disadvantaged children. The gap in attainment between disadvantaged children and their better-off peers results in an impoverished society, and has existed for far too long. We look forward to applying our expertise to develop and scale up education projects so that many more disadvantaged students are able to get the support they need to succeed."

Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, said: "I am delighted that the Sutton Trust, a charity at the forefront of tackling educational inequality, together with Impetus Trust, will manage this important new fund."

Notes to editors

  • The Sutton Trust as the lead charity in a partnership with Impetus Trust was appointed to administer the Education Endowment Fund following an open competition involving 14 charities undertaken by the Department for Education.
  • For the first two years of the Fund, applications will only be accepted from, or in partnership with, underperforming primary and secondary schools in England. Grants will aim to raise the attainment of children eligible for Free School Meals, and available not just to schools or Local Authorities but also to voluntary and community sectors, public sector organisations, co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises.
  • A stark attainment gap persists between children eligible for Free School Meals and more advantaged children at every Key Stage of primary and secondary school.
  • A key strand of the programme will be to commission robust evaluations of the projects piloted, to create a bank of approaches proven to work at improving attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
  • Selection criteria for bids will be published in the early summer, and the first projects will be funded in the Autumn. The Fund will eventually allocate £10-15 million each year to projects.
  • The Sutton Trust is investing £750,000 in cash to underpin the development of the new charity, while the Impetus Trust is committing £250,000. Both Trusts are also making substantial in-kind contributions of staff resources and expertise.
  • The Fund will not be accepting proposals until the early summer.