Pipeline of EEF trials

The EEF’s grant-funding generates new evidence to secure our understanding of what’s most likely to be effective in improving attainment and related outcomes, especially for the most disadvantaged pupils. 

As confidence increases in a project’s impact, so we scale up its delivery, whether in schools, nurseries or colleges. 

The EEF is committed to supporting projects at all stages of this pipeline.

High-potential projects yet to be robustly evaluated

These projects will have some initial evidence which indicates they have potential to improve learners’ attainment; BUT will not yet have been independently and rigorously evaluated to demonstrate a causal relationship between the project and those improvements.

The EEF’s grant-funding gives them the opportunity to put their idea to a fair test.

Types of EEF trial in this category are:
Promising projects looking to scale-up

These programmes will have already been independently and rigorously evaluated and demonstrated positive impact at raising attainment on learners’ outcomes; BUT need now to establish that they can be delivered at scale in a way which maintains impact and is cost-effective.

The EEF’s grant-funding gives them the opportunity to continue testing the impact of their project as it expands.

Types of EEF trial in this category are:
Pilot studies:

• conducted in a small number of schools, or early years / post-16 settings (e.g., three or more), where a programme is at an early or exploratory stage of development.

• evaluated through qualitative research to develop and refine the approach and test its feasibility in schools, nurseries or colleges. Initial, indicative data will be collected to assess its potential to raise attainment.
Efficacy trials:

• test whether an intervention can work under developer-led conditions in a number of schools, or early years / post-16 settings, usually 50+.

• a quantitative impact evaluation is used to assess the impact of the intervention on student outcomes, including attainment. An implementation and process evaluation is used to identify the challenges for delivery. An indicative cost of the intervention is also calculated.


Effectiveness trials:

• test a scalable model of an intervention under everyday conditions (where the developer cannot be closely involved in delivery because of the scale) in a large number of schools, or early years / post-16 settings, usually 100+ across at least three different geographical regions. 

• a quantitative impact evaluation is used to assess the impact of the intervention on student outcomes, including attainment. An implementation and process evaluation is used to identify the challenges for delivery at this scale. The cost of the intervention at this scale is also calculated.
Scale-up:

• is when a programme which has been shown to work when rigorously trialled, and has the capacity to deliver at scale, is expanded to work across a bigger area delivering to a large number of schools, or early years / post-16 settings.

• though we will continue to evaluate its impact, this is now a lighter touch process.