New £5m fund to improve maths and English results for young people without good GCSEs

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and J.P.Morgan have launched a £5m fund to improve outcomes for the hundreds of thousands of young people who leave formal education each year without having achieved a C in English or maths at GCSE, it was announced today.

Since 2014 it has been compulsory for teenagers who don’t get a C or above in English and maths to carry on studying these subjects after Year 11. 18-year olds without these grades have been shown to be at increased risk of social and economic exclusion and their chances of progressing further in their studies and finding a good job are significantly reduced.

The latest figures from the Department for Education show that by age 18 and after 13 years of formal education, 181,400 (29%) students had not achieved at least a C grade in English GCSE and 165,700 students (26%) had not done so in maths.

The EEF and J.P.Morgan aim to identify the most cost effective ways of improving attainment and employment opportunities for 16-18 year olds who have failed to achieve the C grade in English and Maths at GCSE. Over three years the £5m will fund six to eight randomised controlled trials of the most promising projects in this area.

To inform this funding round and the expansion of their work into post-16 education, the EEF commissioned AlphaPlus Consultancy to undertake a literature review of recent, high-quality evidence, including international research. As well as identifying gaps in the research, the review identifies interventions and approaches for which there is existing evidence of a positive impact on young people’s outcomes.

According to the review, utilising technology to motivate students and develop their skills could improve attainment in maths, while peer tutoring is one approach that was found to have a positive impact on English skills.

The fund is looking for applications for programmes across England, but particularly welcomes bids from those in Greater London, the South West and the North of England, and from partnerships involving both education providers and employers. The funding round is open from 7th July to 3rd October, 2016. Find out more here.

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people are leaving formal education without the qualifications in English and Maths they will need to succeed in life. Those from poorer backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to finding themselves unable to continue their studies or to secure a good job.

“Working with colleagues at J.P. Morgan we are determined to support the post-16 sector in developing well-evidenced programmes to ensure these students can fulfil their potential.”

Hang Ho, Head of Philanthropy for Europe, Middle-East and Africa, J.P. Morgan, said:

“Possessing the right skills is fundamental to young people’s ability to compete for quality jobs and create stable economic futures. We passionately believe in enabling students to achieve the right credentials for clear pathways to the employment market; Math and English are key to this. Working with EEF, we are identifying best-in-class programmes to dramatically increase the number of young people who have a smoother transition into the job market”.

Notes to Editors

  1. 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. Since its launch the EEF has awarded £75.4 million to 127 projects working with over 750,000 pupils in over 7,500 schools across England. The EEF and Sutton Trust are, together, the government-designated What Works Centre for Education.