First EEF grants announced

US style summer camps, pupil to pupil tutoring, booster tuition sessions, and a new approach to teaching maths are the first four projects to receive grants from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

The grants, totalling £1.6 million, are the first to be allocated by the EEF, which will invest over £200m over the next 15 years on innovative schemes to boost the attainment of disadvantaged children in some of the country’s most challenging schools.

The EEF will be seeking a UK organisation to partner the US charity, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), to pilot its highly successful summer and after-school programmes in England. Children attend BELL summer camps at local schools during the summer break, attending classes in literacy and maths, and taking part in extracurricular activities, including music and sport. Research in the US has shown that the BELL approach boosts the school results of poorer pupils – preventing learning loss that can occur during the summer. The BELL pilot follows the announcement of a £50m Government initiative for schools to establish summer camps for the primary-secondary transition in England.

Meanwhile the largest of the first four EEF grants (£760,000) goes to a university-led project supporting teachers to use older pupils aged 10 and 11 to tutor younger pupils aged 8-9 in Maths. Recent research suggests that peer tutoring can be a highly effective way to boost the attainment of students. The research was carried out by Durham University which is to spearhead the pilot project in 80 schools, including the training of teachers and the production of materials.

The third grant will support an innovative and highly effective approach to teaching children maths called Mathematics Mastery, which originated in Singapore. The programme - run by ARK Schools, the Academies sponsor, which is also supporting the project - will receive £600,000 over the next four years to reach at least 50 disadvantaged primary and secondary schools.

The fourth grant of £180,000 will go to a new charity, The Tutor Trust, which will make one-to-one and small group tuition available to schools serving disadvantaged areas in Manchester. The Trust will use undergraduates and recent graduates to provide affordable high quality tutoring to help pupils in the run-up to their Maths and English GCSEs. As part of the three year pilot, schools will get one in every six lessons free of charge. If it is successful, the scheme will be rolled out to other university towns and cities.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the EEF, said "We are delighted to be announcing these first grants which are an important statement of intent for the EEF and a sign that we are up and running and ready for business. The range of projects demonstrates the ways in which we will work: supporting a university-led project, helping a new charity to start up, supporting a new initiative from an established player in the sector, as well as funding an innovative programme from overseas. All our grants are for projects that will be rigorously evaluated and can be significantly scaled up if they are found to be cost effective in raising the achievement of disadvantaged pupils."

The EEF will be making further grants as part of its first full round of applications later in the year. The second grants round closes on the 27 January 2012, with a round every term thereafter.

Notes for Editors:
£125m was awarded by the Government earlier this 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.