​Three new EEF evaluation reports published

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has today published independent evaluations of three EEF-funded projects.

The first two are randomised controlled trials of early years programmes:

Peep Learning Together Programme

139 nursery settings and 1,447 families took part in a trial of Peep-LTS, a programme aiming to improve parenting skills and the quality of the home learning environment in the early years (ages 3 to 4). Delivered by the charity Peeple, this involved an initial home visit, then 20 weekly one-hour sessions to provide parents with background information about how children learn, as well as practical ideas and activities to help build on what they are already doing at home to make the most of everyday learning opportunities.

The independent evaluation by Queen’s University Belfast found that children who received Peep-LTS made, on average, no additional progress in core language skills compared to similar children in families who were not offered the programme. There was evidence, though, of a positive effect on children’s early literacy development and, following the programme, parents also reported small improvements in the home learning environment and their confidence in enjoying and playing with their child.

The full evaluation report, together with the EEF’s commentary on the findings, is available here.

URLEY (Using Research Tools to Improve Language in the Early Years)

120 primary schools from the West Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester took part in a trial of URLEY, involving 1,978 children (ages 3 to 5). The programme trains early years teachers to improve children’s language and social-behavioural outcomes and was delivered by a team from the University of Oxford, UCL Institute of Education, and A+ Education Ltd.

Get Involved

Get Involved

More than 14,000 schools, as well as early years and post-16 settings, have signed up to be involved in one of the EEF's trials. 1 EEF-funded projects are now looking for volunteers to test the impact of their work.

Register your interest here.

The independent evaluation by NIESR and the Behavioural Insights Team found that children in schools receiving URLEY did not make additional progress in language development compared to similar children in schools which were not offered the programme. The programme did, though, have consistent positive impacts on the quality of teaching, such as the quality of language-supporting adult-child interactions, suggesting that quality of practice improved.

The full evaluation report, together with the EEF’s commentary on the findings, is available here.

In addition, the EEF has published the independent pilot report of:

Deeper Thinking

12 schools in the North East and North Yorkshire took part in this programme aiming to improve outcomes in GCSE science by teaching Year 10 pupils to use a variety of metacognitive strategies. The grantee, Carmel Education Trust, delivered a condensed version of their usual programme, with schools receiving professional training and resource packs to support students in tackling two types of GCSE science question: those that require an extended answer, and those relating to the ‘required’ practicals.

This pilot was funded as part of joint initiative by the EEF and Wellcome Trust to generate new evidence about science teaching, with the particular aim of closing the science attainment and progression gaps that exist between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. The aim was to determine whether Deeper Thinking is feasible to deliver across schools; whether it shows evidence of promise; and whether it is ready to be evaluated as a randomised controlled trial (RCT).

The independent pilot report by AlphaPlus and Manchester Metropolitan University has mixed findings. It is available here, together with the EEF’s commentary.