New £9.8 million fund to build international evidence network and improve teaching across the globe

EEF, in partnership with BHP Billiton Foundation, announces new 5-year project

A new £9.8m fund aims to improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged pupils across the world by building a global evidence network, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and BHP Billiton Foundation announced today.

The five-year project will bring together education systems and teachers in different countries to generate and share knowledge about the best ways to tackle common challenges and boost attainment; how to teach reading, for example, or how to engage parents in their children’s learning.

Every day, teachers in different countries are working to solve similar problems, but with limited access to reliable information about what’s most likely to transform their students’ life opportunities. As a result, the quality of education children receive varies dramatically, both across and within countries, with children from disadvantaged backgrounds too often missing out on the skills and qualifications they need to thrive in adult life.

The partnership with the BHP Billiton Foundation will allow the EEF to bring their approach to generating and using evidence to improve teaching and learning to education systems across the globe. It will encompass four areas:

  • Developing the Teaching and Learning Toolkit, the EEF’s flagship resource for teachers and schools, to help practitioners identify what works, for which students, and in which circumstances;
  • Testing different teaching and learning approaches across different countries. A new global trials fund will accelerate the discovery of new evidence that is relevant both globally and to English schools;
  • Building a network of evidence hubs similar to EEF’s Research Schools, in partnership with local education jurisdictions; and
  • Establishing EEF-style organisations in partner countries to act as evidence brokers and encourage the adoption of evidence-based policy at a national level.

The EEF has already established partnerships with a number of global organisations. In 2014, they began working with school systems in Australia to develop an Australian version of the Teaching & Learning Toolkit, taking the global evidence base that underpins the Toolkit and contextualising it with recent examples of local research to enhance its relevance for Australian teachers.

The Australian work was joined in February 2017 by the work of Education Scotland, which has led to the development of a Scottish version of the Toolkit to strengthen the use of evidence underpinning the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

In July 2017, the EEF entered into a new partnership in Latin America and the Caribbean with SUMMA (the Laboratory of Education Research and Innovation for Latin America and the Caribbean). This partnership has seen the translation of the Toolkit into Spanish and Portuguese, along with the integration of more than 250 recent local studies that help contextualise the evidence for Latin American and Caribbean teachers, and contribute to the global knowledge about the Toolkit strands.

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

“For decades, countries across the globe have been working hard to improve access to education. While more and more children have access to free education than ever before, the quality of the education they receive varies dramatically, both across and within countries. Too often it’s children from disadvantaged backgrounds that miss out on the quality of education they need to thrive in adult life.

“We know that every day, teachers worldwide are striving to improve the learning outcomes of their students. But they cannot do it alone. Some of the challenges teachers face are unique, but schools face many common challenges too.

“With the BHP Billiton Foundation’s support, we’ll be able to give teachers and schools across the world access to reliable information and the support they need to make the best decisions about what’s most likely to transform their students’ life chances.”

Karen Wood, Chairman BHP Billiton Foundation said:

“We know that a great education is crucial for breaking the cycle of disadvantage and ensuring a young person can actively participate in society, that’s why partnerships like this one with EEF are so important”.

“Enabling teachers to make evidence-based decisions which improve learning in their classrooms is at the core of this important partnership.”

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. Since its launch the EEF has awarded £96.3 million to 160 projects working with over 1,000,000 pupils in over 10,000 schools across England. The EEF and Sutton Trust are, together, the government-designated What Works Centre for Education.
  2. The BHP Billiton Foundation works to address some of the most critical global sustainable development challenges facing our generation. By working in partnership with others they seek to raise the bar, find new solutions and set new standards for the future. They are funded by BHP, a leading global resources company, and through their programs address challenges that are directly relevant to the resources sector.