Rigorous, independent evaluation is essential to the EEF's mission. It ensures that we can accurately identify the impact of EEF-funded projects and provide teachers and senior leaders with the reliable information they need to improve outcomes for children and young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Every project funded by the EEF is independently evaluated by a team appointed from our 25-strong panel of evaluators. Most evaluations have two parts:
- an impact evaluation, normally using a robust design such as a randomised controlled trial (RCT), is used to estimate the difference the project makes on pupils’ progress by creating equivalent groups, one of which receives the intervention and the other of which continues with business as usual;
- alongside this, an implementation and process evaluation is undertaken to understand the components of successful implementation and to inform how it could be scaled-up if the approach is found to be successful in raising attainment.
In addition, the EEF funds a small number of developmental pilots using qualitative and quantitative methods to test the feasibility of an approach before trialling it at a larger scale.
The EEF is funding more randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in education than any other organisation globally.
The EEF has more than doubled the amount of available evidence from trials in education in this country, and has commissioned more than 10 per cent of all known trials in education around the world.
The EEF’s approach to evaluation has been instrumental in raising the bar in terms of the quality of education research in the UK, proving that large-scale, robust, quantitative trials of programmes in schools, nurseries and colleges are possible.
We publish, openly and in full, the independent evaluation reports of all EEF-funded projects, no matter what the outcomes, so that teachers can have confidence in the findings we present.
Independent analysis has found that the direct lifetime productivity gains for students receiving EEF-funded projects will amount to three times the costs of delivering and evaluating them (before accounting for any benefits from communicating to teachers the findings of these trials).