EEF Round 1 Grants Announced

£2.7M EEF awards to reach 180,000 pupils

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has awarded £2.7 million to five innovative school projects that aim to improve the attainment of poor pupils, in its first full round of grants. The grants, announced today, will involve 180,000 pupils in 300 primary and secondary schools across England.

The projects include a project that engages parents with their children’s learning through the use of animation, a physical movement programme for young pupils and a programme to give teachers the skills they need to narrow the gap between a targeted group of disadvantaged pupils and their peers. Three grants will test different approaches to school improvement.

They have been awarded from applications from schools, charities and universities drawing on existing evidence of impact following a three month evaluation process. The projects will be teamed up with independent research teams to evaluate their impact on children’s results, adding to the evidence on what works best at improving attainment in schools.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the EEF, said: "This is an incredibly exciting group of projects that have the potential to boost the results of children from poorer backgrounds. Too many children still leave school without basic numeracy and literacy skills which is a national disgrace. All these projects will be rigorously evaluated and if they prove effective scaled up so that they have a much wider impact."

Dr Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the EEF, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the range and quality of the proposals coming forward from schools, charities, and other organisations – which has made the selection of grants extremely tough for our first full round of grants. We now start the crucial job of working alongside EEF grantees to test these ideas out, and build on the evidence of what is most effective in raising the attainment of children."

The EEF is an independent charity, established by a Government endowment of £125m to boost the attainment of disadvantaged children in some of the country’s most challenging schools. Together with income from the endowment and fundraising the foundation will invest over £200m over the next 15 years to pilot and evaluate innovative schemes, creating robust evidence of what improves results among children. The Foundation is open to applications through three major grants rounds each year.

The five grants are as follows:

£960,000 over 3 years to Challenge Partners, a national network of schools, which aims to narrow the gap between free school meal pupils and other pupils. The money will be spent on developing and delivering half-termly workshops sharing best practice in narrowing the gap. The programme will be delivered through ‘Learning Threes’ whereby 15 outstanding Challenge Partner schools with expertise at narrowing the gap will each work with two other schools, including an EEF target school, to improve the performance of disadvantaged pupils.

£209,000 to Primary Movement over 2 years for a project to test out whether systematic physical movement exercises for about 10 minutes a day can help improve children’s literacy and numeracy. This follows research carried out in Northern Ireland which suggests that they can. The exercises are often accompanied by songs and nursery rhymes. The money will be spent on training teachers and comparing the results between primary schools which participate in the programme and those that do not.

£516,404 to Campaign for Learning, a charity which seeks to harness parent power to improve children’s learning. The Mind the Gap programme involves 10 hours of sessions where children and parents work together to create an animation film. These sessions are coordinated by a practitioner who helps participants to think about how they are learning, create their own learning goals and reflect on their progress. The projects will take place in Birmingham, Devon and Harrow, and schools will be trained in how to develop a strategic approach to parental engagement.

£996,750 over 4 years to the Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme (TEEP) - a continuing professional development programme delivered by outstanding teachers and coordinated by The Schools Network to improve classroom practice. The project will develop whole school TEEP training for underperforming schools. A previous TEEP project in Tower Hamlets was associated with improved performance of Year 9 pupils in science.

£121,000 to Hampshire County Council to develop and implement a teacher toolkit to help schools boost their support for disadvantaged children. The toolkit will help teachers identify the pupils who need more support and give them techniques and strategies to improve their results. The focus of ‘Hampshire Hundreds’ will be on increasing the internal motivation of pupils.

Notes for Editors

  • £125m was awarded by the Government last year to the Sutton Trust as the lead charity in partnership with the Impetus Trust to establish a major new programme to improve the performance of poor pupils in the country’s most challenging schools. With fundraising and investment income, the EEF will spend upwards of £200m over fifteen years.