New EEF grants awarded

Schools will be testing whether new technology – including iPads, texting parents and online preparation for lessons – can help less advantaged pupils achieve better results in seven new programmes announced today by the Education Endowment Foundation and Nominet Trust.

The use of technology in schools has never been more widespread. It offers new ways to engage pupils and parents, and could make it possible to redesign the curriculum and school day in radical ways. Yet in most cases, the impact of this innovation on learning is unproven.

Today’s announcement will provide £3.5 million which will be used to work with 18,000 pupils in 260 schools across England and rigorously test a variety of ways of using digital technology.

  • A £253,000 grant has been awarded to Rosendale Primary School in Lambeth, South London to test the benefit of using iPads to boost learning skills. 1,400 pupils in 24 schools in London, Essex and Manchester will use the tablets to monitor their progress and plan their future learning using photographs, written records and audio recordings. The project builds on existing research which suggests that improving study skills is an effective way to boost attainment and will be tested using a randomised controlled trial.
  • A £559,000 grant has been awarded to Shireland Collegiate Academy in Sandwell, West Midlands to test the impact of a “flipped learning” approach, where pupils are introduced to concepts before the lesson online, freeing up class time to focus on the areas where support from teachers is needed. The programme will focus on teaching maths to Year 5 and 6 pupils and involve 24 schools in Birmingham and the Black Country.
  • A £532,000 grant has been awarded to a joint team from Harvard and Bristol University to test the benefit of using text messages to increase the involvement of parents in their child’s education. 34 schools will use texts to provide information about homework, behaviour and upcoming tests and is based on a similar scheme on the United States which led to a significant improvement in results.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation and of the Sutton Trust, said today: “Schools spend huge sums on money every year on technology, but there is too little evidence on new technology like iPads. The gap in educational outcomes between rich and poor is the biggest barrier to social mobility we face and it is essential to find out if and how technology can be used to help close it.”

Dan Sutch, Head of Development Research at Nominet Trust, added: “The more we can understand where technology best supports learning and teaching the better. We’re really excited to be able to support these projects and to develop a deeper understanding of where well designed, and well used digital technologies can enhance learners’ attainment and experiences.”

Dr Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “To narrow the gap and avoid wasting resources teachers need to have access to high quality information. These exciting grants will help identify the most effective ways to use digital technology to improve learning for the most disadvantaged pupils in our schools.”

The other technology projects will:

  • Work with Coventry University to test a free internet-based reading programme with pupils aged 4-6 in 60 schools in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.
  • Test the impact of a system devised by Ai Media, Melbourne University and Nesta which provides teachers with a transcript of lessons, in order to improve effective teaching practices.
  • Work with Nesta and Know Maths to examine the impact of low-cost online one to one tuition on the academic attainment of Year 6 pupils.
  • Work with Edge Hill University to examine the impact of using hand held devices to provide instant feedback between teachers and pupils in Years 5 and 6.

Alongside the seven grants focused on digital technology, the Education Endowment Foundation today also awarded five new grants from its main fund. These projects, worth £2.6 million will:

  • Work with Bristol University to explore the impact of short bursts of physical activity on academic outcomes in English and maths. This project is co-funded by Nike inc. as part of the 'Designed to Move' initiative.
  • Assess the link between a programme of structured language tuition, devised by CfBT, and literacy development of pupils in Years 3 and 4.
  • Work with Chicago University to examine the impact of a parenting academy, which will equip parents with the skills to support their children’s learning in numeracy, literacy and science.
  • Work with the Youth Sport Trust to develop and pilot an approach to feedback based on methods used by sports coaches.
  • Explore the impact of teachers observing each others’ lessons on their own effectiveness, using an approach developed by a team led by Professor Simon Burgess.

For more information, please contact Robbie Coleman at the EEF ( on 020 7802 1679.


  1. The Education Endowment Foundation is a charity set up in 2011 by the Sutton Trust as lead foundation in partnership with Impetus Trust, with a Department for Education grant of £125m. It is dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. Since its launch the EEF has awarded £35.9 million to 68 projects working with over 440,000 pupils in over 2,200 schools across England.
  2. Nominet Trust ( is the UK’s leading Tech for Good funder. The Trust believes in harnessing the power of digital technology to improve lives and communities. A UK registered charity, Nominet Trust brings together, invests in and supports people committed to using digital technology to create social and economic value. Nominet Trust was founded in 2008 by Nominet, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure. Nominet has a strong public purpose and the Trust is one example of its commitment to creating a safer, accessible and diverse internet.
  3. The full list of projects funded by EEF can be viewed at