A new funding round will test different programmes and strategies to improve attainment and other outcomes for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) announced today.
Official figures show there is a larger attainment gap for pupils with SEND than for any other group. In 2016, just 14% of these pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at age 11, compared to 53% of their classmates. Pupils with SEND are twice as likely to come from disadvantaged homes, too (27% of pupils with SEND are eligible for free school meals compared to 12% of all other pupils) and face a double disadvantage in the classroom
Pupils with SEND may face significantly greater challenges in learning than the majority of their peers, or have a disability which hinders their access to the teaching and facilities typically found in mainstream schools and colleges.
To date, the EEF’s funding has focused on improving the outcomes of socio-economically disadvantaged pupils. Much of this work – particularly around the effective use of teaching assistants – has generated evidence schools can apply to support the teaching of pupils with SEND. However, this is the first time the EEF has focused a funding round specifically on improving outcomes for pupils with SEND.
This new funding round is both an opportunity to test some promising SEND projects, and to learn more about the best ways to evaluate the impact of approaches for this group of pupils. The EEF will fund evaluations of a small number of practical, cost-effective and evidence-informed projects that aim to improve outcomes for pupils with SEND, and particularly those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Successful projects might be whole-school programmes designed to create a more inclusive culture, or targeted interventions for pupils with particular needs. The EEF is also hoping to fund pilots of interventions working in special schools, to find out how feasible it is to evaluate approaches in these settings.
The funding round will be open from 17 October until 14 January 2019.
Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said:
Notes to editors
- The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is a grant-making charity set up in 2011 by the Sutton Trust as lead foundation in partnership with Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation), with a £125m founding grant from the Department for Education. The EEF is dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement.
- To apply for funding in this round, and to find out more, please visit this page.
- The EEF “big picture” page on SEND contains a summary of the EEF’s relevant work to date.