Foundation Awards £3.8m for 9 projects to help disadvantaged children
The Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF) is awarding a further £3.8 million to fund projects to raise the attainment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The projects will involve nearly 19,000 children in 325 schools.
They range from an initiative to encourage primary school children to do simple philosophy to a programme to change the mind sets of children to realise they can increase their intelligence. They also include a new way of teaching reading comprehension to Year 7 pupils, an intervention to help children who struggle with numeracy, and a new approach to primary science that emphasises scientific inquiry and concepts ahead of rote learning. All projects will be carefully evaluated to determine whether they truly make a difference.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the EEF, said: “This excellent group of projects has huge potential to raise the attainment of children from poorer backgrounds. Our failure as a society to provide the opportunity for every child to get the education they need to reach their potential is shameful. These projects will be rigorously evaluated and if they prove to be effective they will be scaled up.”
The largest grant of £1m goes to the Plymouth Parent Partnership working with Oxford University. This will test the impact of a programme of 12 weekly sessions that aim to give parents the skills they need to help their children enjoy and improve their reading. It will help parents of 360 pupils aged 5 – 6 in 45 schools in Plymouth and Cornwall.
A second grant of nearly £750,000 goes to I CAN – the children’s communication charity – working with University College London and the University of Sheffield. The work will test and evaluate a new programme to improve children’s oral and language skills in nursery and Reception year classes. The new programme will help 360 pupils aged 3 to 5 at 30 schools in London and Sheffield.
Other grants are:
- £110,000 awarded to the Anglican Schools Partnership, Bexley, to develop a model for effective feedback in the classroom which will initially involve 10 schools with 3,500 pupils in Bexley.
- £185,000 awarded to the Catch Up charity working with Dr. Ann Dowker of Oxford University to test an innovative programme in which specially trained teaching assistants deliver tailored support to children struggling with numeracy. It will help pupils aged 6 – 11 in 50 schools in Essex, Islington, Oxford, Southend and Thurrock.
- £368,000 awarded to Portsmouth University, Portsmouth City Council and other partners to test ways of increasing pupils’ awareness of their ability to ‘grow their brains’ to improve academic performance. This will involve some 2,000 pupils at 36 schools in and around Portsmouth.
- £270,000 awarded to Science Oxford working with Oxford Brookes University for a three year project to test a more exciting way of teaching science in primary schools. The programme will concentrate on teaching children scientific concepts and the skills of scientific enquiry rather than a series of facts about science. The project will involve Year 4 and Year 5 children in 40 primary schools in Oxfordshire.
- £272,000 awarded to SAPERE to test a programme called Philosophy for Children, in which primary school children between 8 and 11 spend one hour a week discussing a philosophical question in class. The three year grant will test the programme’s impact on children’s cognitive skills and academic attainment. It will involve an estimated 5,400 children in 40 primary schools.
- £510,000 awarded to the SHINE Trust, a national charity which helps disadvantaged children which working with the Hallé Orchestra to start an academic and cultural Saturday school for primary pupils in disadvantaged areas of Greater Manchester. The three year grant will help to co-fund the schools for 800 pupils aged 8 – 11.
- £310,000 awarded to the Learning Trust to trial its LIT Programme that aims to improve the reading of 11 – 12 year old pupils by equipping them with strategies to understand text rather than just decode it. This will help pupils in 40 secondary schools, mainly in London.
So far the EEF has awarded over £10m since it was set up last year to help children from poor homes. The 20 projects so far approved are expected to reach over 900 schools and some 225,000 children.
The EEF is a charity set up by the Sutton Trust as the lead charity in partnership with Impetus Trust with a Department for Education endowment of £125m to boost the attainment of disadvantaged children in some of the country’s most challenging schools.
Further information from Tim Devlin, Press Officer for the EEF on 07939 544 487.