Education Endowment Foundation:EAL pupils: ​“We invested heavily in the expertise of all teachers” 

EAL pupils: ​“We invested heavily in the expertise of all teachers” 

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This week’s TES cover story (13 April 2018) focuses on pupils with English as an additional language (EAL)

It looks at the reasons given for the strong overall academic progress of this large, disparate group. It includes quotes from the EEF’s chief executive, Sir Kevan Collins, based on his leadership experience in Tower Hamlets:

Sir Kevan also highlights the importance of developing a community-wide consensus involving parents and the community, as well as business and local politicians:

Both TES articles are available to read online:

  • The real miracle of EAL pupils’ success is in the collaboration 
  • EAL pupils’ table-topping GCSE results: miracle or mirage?

Our work on EAL

In 2015, we published two linked evidence reviews on pupils classified as EAL. These found that that:

  • there is a massive variation in the results achieved by EAL pupils. While some catch up with their peers by the age of 16, average attainment figures mask a huge range of different outcomes;
  • there is a serious lack of robust research evidence. No examples of randomised controlled trials (RCTs), or studies where the effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated by an independent review team, could be identified.

This led to us launching a major themed funding round (in partnership with Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy) focused on addressing this gap, identifying high-potential projects ready to be evaluated across large numbers of English schools. Three projects were funded: