Education Endowment Foundation:Grant funding round: Improving attendance and reducing exclusions

Grant funding round: Improving attendance and reducing exclusions

A safe, positive place to learn: improving attendance and reducing exclusions

This is a co-funded grant opportunity from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF).

We know that school absenteeism (missed attendance as well as fixed and permanent exclusion) not only impacts on students’ attainment, but also on the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence and crime. It is also likely that many students with poor attendance or those being excluded from school are the most disadvantaged.

YEF and EEF are partnering to find, fund, and evaluate programmes and practices in England and Wales that could both keep children safe from involvement in violence and improve academic attainment, by reducing absenteeism.

Context and Background:

This funding round is part of EEF’s reinvigorated commissioning approach. The EEF’s funding rounds will now focus on particular topics, and projects will be funded within selected themes under these topics. This ensures that we are focusing on funding the projects that answer the most important questions, as suggested by our existing evidence base and school priorities, whilst also prioritising the areas that are likely to be most beneficial for socio-economically disadvantaged children.

In collaboration with the YEF, we have therefore identified 7 key areas of interest for this funding round. We are particularly interested in funding projects within these areas, that being: anti-bullying programmes; Classroom Behaviour Management programmes; Internal Alternative Provision interventions; needs-led attendance interventions; parent/​carer communication interventions; social and emotional learning interventions; and targeted family engagement interventions. In your application, you will be asked to outline which of these main areas your project falls under. We might fund projects that do not fit into these categories, but we would expect to see strong project-level evidence. For further details about these themes, please refer to the guidance notes.

The main research question that we will be seeking to answer across this programmes-focused round and the approaches-focused round in April is: which approaches are most effective in enabling 5 – 18-year-olds at the highest risk of absenteeism and/​or exclusion from school, including those from disadvantaged, marginalised or vulnerable families to attend, positively engage with, and remain in school/​college, to improve their attainment and reduce the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence?

Proposals should be:

  • Well defined, with a clear explanation of what the programme is and how it will be implemented.
  • Clear how they will support children and young people at highest risk of absenteeism and/​or exclusion, including those from low-income (and/​or eligible for Pupil Premium), marginalised or vulnerable groups.
  • Informed and supported by evidence of impact on desired outcomes.
  • Be practical, cost-effective and scalable.
  • Willing and able to be independently evaluated.

Type of projects

The funding we offer is intended to achieve two outputs:

  • A well-delivered programme, run in a large number of schools, colleges or other full-time education settings. We are looking for programmes that focus on enabling 5 – 18-year-olds to attend, positively engage with and remain in school, thereby improving attainment and reducing the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence.
  • A rigorous evaluation of the programme, which will include an estimate of its impact on attendance or exclusion alongside other relevant factors such as attainment or behavioural outcomes. These evaluations will mostly be randomised controlled trials, where the outcomes of children and young people that took part in the programme are compared to the outcomes of children and young people who did not take part in the programme. In all EEF and YEF evaluations, we also fund an implementation and process evaluation, which helps explain why an intervention has (or has not) been successful; what factors have contributed to this result; and what lessons we can learn about educational practice and research.

How to apply:

Please read these guidance notes (in English or Welsh) alongside the FAQ section on our website. 

The application form for this funding round can be accessed and completed in either English or Welsh:

A paper version with the full list of questions from the application form can be downloaded here:

This funding round is open from Wednesday 16 March 2022 until Monday 16 May 2022.

We’ve also made a list of FAQs specific to this round based on the questions we received in our webinars. You can access it here.