Throughout the academic year 2021 to 2022, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has undertaken a package of work aiming to strengthen the development of its pipeline of evidence-based programmes, to support more schools to use evidence-based programmes and evidence in their practice.
This work is being funded by the Department for Education’s Accelerator Fund (AF) between 2021 and 2022, which includes an overarching evaluation to understand the extent to which the application of the AF funding met its expected objectives of increasing school awareness and take-up of evidence-informed programmes and practices, as well as collecting feedback and learnings on the EEF’s programme pipeline.
The AF aims to support recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, in this instance, by targeting three Regional School Commissioner (RSC) regions that have been particularly impacted by the pandemic: the North; East Midlands and Humber; and the West Midlands. The work is focused on supporting schools in these areas to use evidence-based maths and literacy programmes to aid their recovery. The funding is supporting the delivery and/or evaluation of a range of EEF-funded programmes across 1000+ schools, from early-stage development of new programmes through to implementation at scale, enabling further development and strengthening of the EEF’s programmes pipeline so that more evidence-based programmes with the potential to increase pupil attainment can be available to schools in the future.
For more information about the projects included in AF, please visit: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/support-for-schools/accelerator-fund.
The evaluation of the EEF’s AF activity will aim to understand the promise, feasibility and scalability of the AF pipeline. The findings are intended to be used by the DfE for monitoring purposes and may be used to inform future policy. The lessons learned from the evaluation will also be used by the EEF to develop its commissioning processes and work in this area.
Given the short timescale of the project, the evaluation will not be able to assess the impact of activities on schools and pupils. Instead, an Implementation and Process Evaluation (IPE) using a mixed-method approach will be carried out to gauge the extent to which AF pipeline activity is delivered with fidelity to its intentions, and whether the AF programmes are beginning to influence schools’ decisions to use evidence-based programmes, or their likelihood of doing so in the future. The evaluation design uses a combination of survey, interview, focus group, and Management Information data across different strands of the AF pipeline work.
The evaluation report will be published in January 2023.